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By Elsie Clews Parsons 

The Family 
The Old-Fashioned Woman 

The Old-Fashioned 

Primitive Fancies about the Sex 

Elsie Clews Parsons, Ph.D. 

Author of "The Family," etc. 

G. P. Putnam's Sons 
New York and London 
Vbe Itnicfierbocftec pcess 

Copyright, 1913 



Cbe ftnicliecbocfier ptctt, f^ew lI?orh 



Those Who Believe in Her and to Those Who Don't 




1 Q'f -n f^ 


r)RIMITIVE ideas are always grave and always 
* troublesome — until recognised. Then they 
become on the one hand powerless to create situa- 
tions, and on the other, enlivening. 

Feminism and anti-feminism are both made 
up of primitive ideas. That is why their unwit- 
ting exponents can be alike so dull and so 
exacting — if taken seriously. Not till they get 
some ethnological inkling of themselves will they 
become better company. If these papers suc- 
ceed at all in giving it to them, their author 
hopes to be forgiven for adding, if even frivolously, 
to the already disproportionate bibliography on 

Many of the books about women are of course 
a little antiquated, and indeed we suspect that 
among certain circles this book, too, in so far 
at least as it is critical, will be discounted as 
archaic. It is, let us confess; and let us admit 
we expect to be gathered up some day with the 

vi Foreword 

others as an exhibit in a Woman's Museum, a mu- 
seum for collections of female poetry and biography 
and romance, of models of women's apartments, 
women's hotels, and women's buildings at fairs, of 
specimens of women's industries and arts and 
clothes; for collections of the first book read by 
Woman or the first newspaper, the first law brief or 
the first novel written by her, the first joke made 
by her, the first medical prescription signed or the 
first bone set by her, the first degree conferred upon 
her, the first ballot cast by her — exhibits which 
alone will be able to prove to a doubting posterity 
that once women were a distinct social class, 
the very special object of society's interest — for a 
variety of reasons. 




Foreword .... 



Her Creation 



Girl Babies .... 



Cloisters and Harems . 




• 24 


Engagements and Honeymoons 



Old Maids and Wedding Rings 






The Insignificant Parent . 



Pregnancy Taboos 



Unfruitful .... 



In Quarantine . . . . 





viii Contents 


XIII. A Man's Man . . . .114 

XIV. Work and Play Boundaries 
XV. Sex Dialects 
XVI. Sex in Dress 
XVII. Other Earmarks . 
XVIII. Her Market Price 
XIX. " Once Our Superior " 
XX. Policing Her Supernaturally 
XXI. As She Concerns Hierarchies 
XXII. The Jeopardised Male 

XXIII. The Exclusive Sex 

XXIV. The Ladies' Gallery and Amazons 
XXV. Sex after Death 

Location of Less Well-Known Peoples Cited 323 

References 331 

Index 367 



The Old-Fashioned Woman 

The Old-Fashioned Woman 


"A ND Prag^pati thought, let me make an 
'** abode for him, and he created a woman. " ' 
" Man-never-known-on-Earth " made First Man, 
Kiarsidia, "Having Power-to-carry Light. " "Man- 
never-known-on-Earth" also made a woman for 
the man, Kashatskohakatidise, "Bright-Shining- 
Woman."* To Hindu and Wichita Indian as 
well as to the Hebrew and his heirs, Eve is an 

What she is made of may be also significant 
of man's estimate of her. "In the beginning, 
when Twashtri came to the creation of woman, 
he foimd that he had exhausted his materials 
in the making of man, and that no solid ele- 
ments were left. In this dilemma, after pro- 
found meditation, he did as follows: He took 

N. B. References are given on pp. 331 ff. 


2 THe Old-FasKioned AA^oman 

the rotundity of the moon, and the curves of 
creepers, and the cHnging of tendrils, and the 
trembHng of grass, and the slenderness of the 
reed, and the bloom of flowers, and the lightness 
of leaves, and the tapering of the elephant's 
trunk, and the glances of deer, and the clustering 
of rows of bees, and the joyous gaiety of sunbeams, 
and the weeping of clouds, and the fickleness of 
the winds, and the timidity of the hare, and the 
vanity of the peacock, and the softness of the 
parrot's bosom, and the hardness of adamant, 
and the sweetness of honey, and the cruelty of 
the tiger, and the warm glow of fire, and the 
coldness of snow, and the chattering of jays, and 
the cooing of the kokila, and the hypocrisy of 
the crane, and the fidelity of the chakrawdka, and 
compounding all these together, he made woman, 
and gave her to man."^ As we shall note later 
Man proved not altogether grateful. Woman giv- 
ing him so much trouble — in India. 

And yet the Nusairiyeh Arabs must also think 
of her as very troublesome, for they hold that 
she was created from the sins of the satans. '' 
The Arabs of Algeria say outright that she is an 
evil creature and a spoil joy — because God made 
her out of the tail of a monkey.* 

* Dahnhardt, Oskar. Natursagen, i, 120. Leipzig and Berlin, 

Her Creation 3 

The South Slavs also modify the better known 
Semitic version of her composition. According 
to them, a dog came along and ran off with the 
dislocated rib of Adam which God had for a 
moment laid on the ground. God chased the 
thief, but only succeeded in grabbing off his tail. 
So that the best he could do was to make Woman 
out of the dog's tail. In a Bulgarian variant 
of this myth, a snake with legs was the thief, and 
it left its legs behind in God's hands as matter 
for the making of Woman, s It is said that these 
stories are a convenience in dealing with over- 
bearing and self-assertive women, just as their 
more orthodox version has ever been. 

They no doubt have also served to justify now 
and again a man's sense of superiority, that feeling 
which nowadays in our neighbourhood only the 
Jew and the Boy frankly express, the one in his 
daily prayer: "I thank Thee, Lord, for not 
having created me a woman"; and the other 

1907. Referring to the Rabbis as his authority, Thomas Moore 
versifies : 

"The old Adam was fashioned, the first of his kind, 
With a tail, like a monkey, full yard and a span. 
And when nature cut off this appendage behind, 
Why, then woman was made of the tail of the man. 

" Every husband remembers the original plan, 
And knowing his wife is no more than his tail. 

Why, he leaves her behind him as much as he can." 

4 XHe Old-FasHioned "Woman 

whenever you ask him if he wishes he had been 
born a girl. " It is such a pity, " Margaret Fuller 
describes some one saying to the mother of four 
sons, "that one of your boys was not a girl." 
"Who would have been?" asks one of them, over- 
hearing. "I would n't have been, Tom would n't 
have been, Will would n't have been, Jim would n't 
have been, who woiild have been? " 

The boy who would have been is certainly 
rare ; less rare the girl unwilling to be a boy. We 
have all met her, but seldom have we found her 
as frank as she was in one instance a century or so 
ago. "I thank Heaven I was born a woman," 
this maiden wrote, " I have now ^ nly patiently to 
wait till some clever fellow shall take a fancy to 
me and place me in a situation. [As a man] I 
should not be content with mediocrity in any- 
thing, but as a woman I am equal to the generality 
of my sex, and I do not feel that great desire of 
fame I think I should if I was a man. "* 

* A Girl's Life Eighty Years Ago, p. 102. New York, 1887. 
Although in due time this girl, so " content with the way God 
had made her," was " fancied " and " placed," she was not to 
enjoy her " situation " for long. Twenty-six years old, she died 
of tuberculosis in the South — ^her husband in the North unable 
to leave his " business." 



" T AM just as glad to have a girl as a boy, '* says 
the mother who from piety or sentimentality, 
thinking she ought to be or averse perhaps to 
commiseration, fails to realise how much by her 
own words she gives herself away. "I suppose 
you are glad it is a boy, " is another remark judged 
fitting to the occasion. Do I merely imagine I 
discern disparagement, concern, or mockery in 
the intonation of "all girls," or "only girls" in 
references to a maleless progeny? 

One admits to being fanciful in thinking of such 
turns of speech as survivals of female infanticide. 
And yet, were there stu"vivals, they would prob- 
ably be as slight. So many of the reasons for 
female infanticide no longer exist. Except in 
melodrama, marriage by capture has gone out of 
vogue, hence from this point of view girls are no 
longer a source of weakness to kindred or tribes- 
men. Courtship itself, to be sure, may be a 


6 XKe Old-FasKioned Woman 

serious nuisance. Among the Papuans of Torres 
Straits the fact that suitors kept parents from 
sleeping at night and greatly hindered work in the 
garden by day was given as one of the reasons for 
not keeping girl babies alive. ' Chaperoning is an 
arduous activity with us too; still, one has yet 
to hear of a parent, however worn out from a round 
of supper parties or balls, advocating anything 
quite so extreme. 

Marriage by purchase was of distinct advantage 
to girl babies. Nor is it as antiquated as marriage 
by capture. Still, when it does occur with us, the 
family does not profit from it as in more primitive 
societies. The girl herself gets the bride-price. 
Whereas the expense of marrying off a daughter 
has become greater, if anything. Bringing a 
girl out is more of a drain on the family resources 
among us than among savages. 

In primitive culture, bride-price aside, it is more 
economical to save a boy than a girl where only a 
limited number of children are wanted. The boy 
works for the family longer. He also keeps the 
family property intact. But both boys and girls 
have long ceased to be economically rewarding 
to their family. Oiu* sons "keep up" the family 
name, but in other respects modern parents seem 
to expect more of a return from a daughter than a 

Girl Babies 7 

son — "a girl is so much more companionable 
when you are old. " 

Nor can the modem boy baby expect prefer- 
ential treatment as a potential fighter — in view of 
modern peace propaganda, of recent pleas for the 
conscription of young women as army nurses, and 
of the theory of childbearing as a patriotic duty. 

There are communities where the women are 
said to kill their infant daughters from pity — fear- 
ing the hard lot of women for them. But we 
stirely would hold that that was an exaggerated 

A great many people discriminate more hu- 
manely than through murder against their girl 
babies. A Parsee father "recognised" the son, 
but not the daughter, of a handmaid.^ Among 
the Zulus if the first-bom is a boy, an ox is slaugh- 
tered at the birth feast. If a girl, people say, 
"Why should we kill an ox for a girl? She is only 
a weed. "^ The Sarts also slaughter a beast, a 
sheep or a cow, for a hoy, and his gratified father 
gives the midwife a present. "• In Servia and 
Montenegro there is much festivity for the birth 
of a boy. No notice is taken of a girl. Although, 
in Montenegro, if the disappointment her coming 
brings is repeated, the threshold is replaced to take 
off from the house the curse the malevolent must 

8 TKe Old-KasHioned W^oman 

necessarily have laid on it the day of the wed- 
ding, s In Switzerland the maiden who carries 
the news of a birth to the neighbours wears a 
nosegay. To announce a boy she holds another 
in her hand. ^ The Arabs of Algeria celebrate the 
birth of a boy with festive horse-races. To take 
any notice of that of a girl is beneath an Arab's 
dignity,^ and for centuries her advent has been 
anything but a pride or pleasiu"e to an Arab 
father. "When any one of them has tidings of 
a female child," writes Mahomet, "his face is 
overclouded and black, and he has to keep back 
his wrath. He skulks away from the people, for 
the evil tidings he has heard. "^ 

Boys being more desirable than girls, it is natural 
that attempts should be made to determine sex. 
The Chinese sometimes try to summon the imbom 
spirit of a boy through a girl, naming a daughter, 
" May-a-son-come " or " Call-a-Httle-brother. " ' 
Father Jerome assures his Roman friend Laeta 
that because she had given her infant daughter to 
the Lord she herself would be the mother of sons. * " 
In the Nias Islands there is a marriage spirit 
called Adu Lawuri who is called upon to give male 
offspring." "May God give you an 'areesf' a 
bridegroom son, is the proper way to wish well to 
a Moslem bride. *^ 

Oirl Babies 9 

But sympathetic magic is relied upon far more 
than Httle sisters or phalHc spirits for male pro- 
geny. In the Islands of Torres Straits a boy doll 
is nursed by the expectant mother. She may also 
give a party at which a penis-shaped fruit gathered 
by her sister-in-law is pressed against her abdomen, 
and then handed to a woman who has always borne 
male children and who in turn passes it on to the 
circle of women. ^ ^ Among the ancient Hindus a 
little boy was made to sit in the bride's lap. *'' An 
Armenian bride is given a boy baby to hold with the 
wish: "May you be a happy mother !"*s Boys 
hit at a Czech bride with their caps. A Herze- 
govinian fiancee fastens a man's girdle around her 
waist next to the skin. ^^ Roman matrons ate 
cockstones;*' the islanders in the Torres Straits, 
male pigeons.^* Until quite recently a meat 
diet was recommended to our would-be mothers 
of sons. 

If in spite of all charms a girl is bom and, al- 
though a girl, let live, her infancy as well as her 
birth is apt to differ ceremonially from a boy's. 
In eastern Australia one or two joints of the little 
finger of a baby girl's left hand are amputated — 
to qualify her as a fisherwoman. ^' To qualify her 
for a good match, a Chinese baby has, or rather had, 
her feet tight bound. A Japanese girl baby had 

lo XHe Old-FasKioned AVoman 

to He on the ground the first three days of her life — 
a custom which "should teach a woman how 
necessary it is for her in everything to yield to her 
husband the first, and to be herself content with 
a second place. "^'* A Hindu girl is named and 
presented to the sun, given a ceremonial meal and 
a ceremonial haircut, like her brother, but the 
rites are performed without mantras or prayers, — ^ ' 
in India religion on her own account is not for 
a woman. In Mecklenburg a new-bom girl must 
be kissed first by her mother, a boy first by his 
father, else the girl will grow whiskers and the boy 
be beardless. ^^ To make a man of their baby son 
the Hamitic Galla proceed more drastically, am- 
putating his mammcE soon after birth in the belief 
that they belong to women only and that with 
them no man can become a brave warrior. ^^ 

The elaborate ritual of hygiene has taken the 
place in our nurseries of other ceremonial, and 
infant hygiene does not distinguish sex. And so, 
nowadays, for a few months at the beginning of 
life sex is left to itself. I forget — a boy baby's 
things should be blue, a girl's, pink. 



"\\TE.AT do we do day after day?" asked 
' ' Hilary onerainy af temoon of her mother 
and sisters. "A Httle housework, a Httle sewing, 
a little walk, dinner, a little walk, an occasional 
caller, or call to be made, a little talk, tea, a little 
fancy work, a little reading, wash your hands and 
change your frock, high tea. ... A little reading, 
a little whist, light your candles, and five bored 
human beings walk up to bed. " "^ And so Hilary the 
rebellious set off to London to seek her fortune — ■ 
and men. Hilary had a helpful grandmother and 
Hilary herself was determined. In other English 
or New English villages and in almost all more 
primitive societies, even in American summer 
resorts, girls unblessed with red hair and the right 
kind of ancestress have to get on as best they can. 
The boys go off to camp or club-house or boarding- 
school to be "made men," says the Australian, to 
"become manly," say we. Later they are kept 

away from home by economic exigencies, by 


12 XKe Old-FasHioned "Woman. 

hunting or surveying, by stock-raising or com- 
merce. War too, whether hunting heads or 
Hving in barracks, means absenteeism. So does 
getting or exercising power in church or state. 
Even hospitaHty is undomestic. Strangers are 
"put up" at the club, the centre for the men's 
games and amusements. The club-house is of 
coiu"se taboo to women. Some clubs they may 
not even walk past; to "get at" even a husband 
or brother inside others, an English "pub," for 
example, or the Newport "Reading Room" or 
Casino, or even to send a message through to 
anyone, they have to lurk about door or side- 
walk — and even such tempered proximity requires 

And yet, despite its desertion by the male, home 
is but a quasi cloister. Although men may be 
made to realise that they have no duties in it or 
even that the women do not like to have them 
"pottering around the house," they are free, except 
on certain critical occasions, to return to it when- 
ever they wish. So that wherever the theory 
obtains that girls should be protected from the 
world, i. e., from men — or men from girls — special 
precautions even in home life are necessary. 
Fenelon advised parents not to let girls and boys 
play together.^ When a Leh-ta girl of Burma 

Cloisters and Harems 13 

passes a boy, she must not look at him.^ In 
Japanese high society, girls were taught not to 
sit on a boy's mat or use his wardrobe or bath- 
room. He might not hand them anything. Out 
walking, they had to keep aloof from even the men 
of their family, and, whatever their age, they were 
never to go out at night without a light. '» Once 
a Corean girl is eight, ^ or a Chinese girl ten, ^ she 
may not enter the men's quarters of her own house. 
Were a lad to offer a Greenland girl anything, 
even a pinch of snuff, she would be affronted. 
A Thlinket Indian girl must not stir out except 
after dark and then only with her mother. ^ A 
Loango Bantu youth dare not speak to a girl 
except before her mother.^ Scrupulous mothers 
with us also make a point of being at home to 
their daughters' callers or of always sitting up 
until they leave. Away from home, unable to be 
at hand themselves, mothers delegate the r61e 
of chaperon to maids and governesses, or, their 
daughter having "come out," to an "attractive- 
young-married- woman. " 

Outside of very modern circles, the professional 
chaperon is an older woman. Her task is more 
continuous, but usually less prolonged than with 
us. Among the Australian Yaraibanna she has 
to look after a girl steadily for six weeks, her 

14 TKe Old-FasHioned "Woman 

charge living at nubility in an isolated hut.' In 
the Prince of Wales Island the girl's paternal aunt 
takes care of her at this time. For two months 
she lies covered up with sand in a shallow hole 
on the beach — an odd lengthening out of a "sum- 
mer girl's" morning amusement. In another is- 
land of Torres Straits it is her maternal aunts who 
"do" for a girl during the three months she has 
to spend cooped up within a high circle of bushes 
in a dark comer of her home." 

Sometimes girls are kept longer "upstairs." 
In New Ireland they are shut up in dark cages 
for four or five years. ' * Among the rich Ot Dan- 
oms of Borneo they may be kept as long as seven 
years in their special hut. Anemic and stunted, 
they spend their time weaving mats, their only 
company a slave maid or governess. At their 
"coming out," the sun and the earth, the water, 
the trees and the flowers are ceremonially dis- 
played to them.'* 

To the Ot Danoms "how much should a girl 
know?" is plainly not a query. It is in fact a 
concern of civilisation. It is quite modern too. 
Ischomachos, an Athenian husband who had views 
on educating his wife, a girl of fifteen, told Soc- 
rates the greatest pains had been taken with her 
by her parents that she might see as little as 

Cloisters and Harems 15 

possible, hear as little as possible, and ask the 
fewest possible questions. ''^ In describing the 
Pythoness, Plutarch says that like a human bride 
she should have a minimum of experience, being 
"truly a virgin in her soul. "^'' 

This classical* idea of a bride's qualification 
has persisted sporadically. Erasmus tells us of 
a certain German nobleman who, desirous of 
marrying "a raw, inexperienced maid" that, like 
Ischomachos, he "might the more easily form her 
manners to his own humour," chose a seventeen 
year old girl who had been brought up in the 
country at home "to do nothing but gossip and 
play." Incidentally we may note the German, 
unlike the Athenian, bridegroom gets into diffi- 
culties. He undertakes to teach his bride literature 
and music and "to use her by degrees to repeat 
the heads of (the) sermons " she hears. But, 
growing "weary of this life," she rebels, and 
does nothing but cry and throw herself flat on the 
ground, beating her head "as tho' she wished for 
death." Her husband conceals his resentment 
and begs his father-in-law "to lend a helping hand 
to cure his daughter's disorder." "Why don't 
you cudgel her into a due submission?" asks her 

* Among savages it does not always prevail. In fact among 
many savage tribes adolescent girls are without any hesitation 
carefully instructed about marriage and maternity. 

l6 TKe Old-rasKioned WToman 

father. "I know my own power," his son-in- 
law replies, "but I had much rather she should be 
reformed by your art or authority, than to come to 
these extremities. " Within a day or so her father 
finds an occasion to tell her what a homely and dis- 
agreeable girl she was and how he had feared he 
would never be able to get a husband for her. And 
yet now she not only has a most distinguished 
husband but one who were he not so good- 
natured would scarce do her the honour to take 
her for a maid-servant, disobedient as she is to 
him. The young lady, "partly for fear, and partly 
convinced," falls down first at her father's then 
at her husband's feet, promising to be for ever 
after "mindful of her duty."* 

To "put a difference betwixt the shirt and 
doublet of her husband," was all the learning a 
bride needed, declared Francis, Duke of Brittany, 
when he was engaged to Isabella, daughter of Scot- 
land, a young lady "altogether unexperienced in 
the knowledge of good literature." It was a lack, 
the Duke asserverated, that made him "the more 
inamoured " of her. ^ ^ 

* Erasmus, Colloquies; The Uneasy Wife. And she kept her 
promise, for nothing was too mean for her to readily and cheerfully 
go about, "if her husband would have it so." Yes, but "such 
husbands are as scarce nowadays as white crows," retorts the 
" uneasy " woman who has had to listen to the exemplary tale. 

Cloisters and Harems 17 

Counterparts of these noblemen, Frenchman and 
German, have even been observed in the United 
States. "A young man of very good brains was 
telling me, the other day, " writes Mr. Higginson, 
"his dreams of his future wife. . . . ' She must 
be perfectly ignorant, and a bigot ; she must know 
nothing, and believe everything. I should wish to 
have her call to me from the adjoining room, 
"My dear, what do two and two make?" '""^ 

But never has the theory that girls should be 
kept innocent been as adequately stated as by 
Jerome. Counselling Laeta about the baby girl 
whose theogamy she was relying upon for a son, 
he writes: "Leave her no power or capacity of 
living without you, and let her feel frightened 
when she is left to herself." Should Laeta feel 
unequal to this achievement, she is advised to 
send her baby as soon as she is weaned to the 
nunnery of her mother and sister in Bethlehem, 
where the child can readily be kept ignorant of the 
world, "believing that all human beings are like 
herself." ^7 

Whether she is the destined bride of a man or of 
a god, the realisation of this theory of bringing up 
a girl is imdoubtedly easier in a convent, however 
cloistral her home may be. And so the convent 
school has always had a deserved popularity. 

i8 XKe Old-FasHioned "Woman 

It was in particularly high favour in Dahomi 
and in the coast towns of the Ewes. Once a year 
the priestesses of their patron python god raided 
the town, kidnapping or pretending to kidnap all 
the little girls they could lay hands on. A snake- 
claimed maiden stayed a year or more in the god's 
house, all the time, the god being thrifty, at the 
charge of her parents.*^ 

We do not know much about the curriculum of 
these Slave Coast boarding-schools or of the simi- 
lar but much smaller establishments in Sierra 
Leone and Nigeria; but we may be certain that 
dancing was an important part of it. It is in the 
Shinto temples to which little Japanese girls are 
sometimes sent by devout parents, and it was in 
the temple schools of ancient Mexico. In Mexico 
commoners' daughters took a one year's course 
in singing and dancing for the god Tezcatlipoca. *' 
As boys were admitted to Tezcatlipoca's school, 
it must have been very much like one of our own 
curiously anachronistic dancing-schools. 

Like ours, Tezcatlipoca's class was only a day 
class. Quetzalcoatl was a more exacting god. In 
his convents the daughters of the Mexican nobility 
stayed continually from four until sixteen or eight- 
een, according to one historian, *" for only one year 
when they were thirteen or fourteen, according to 

Cloisters and Harems 19 

another,^* serving him as housemaids and cooks. 
Whatever the age at which their domestic 
service began, they were dedicated to deity at 
their birth. So was many a Christian baby girl. 
Laeta, for example, had dedicated Httle Paula, 
even before birth, to her god. (Like other first- 
bom babies Paula had to pay a price for the dis- 
tinction, her Christian mother coming naturally 
by the Jewish and Roman theory of first-fruits.) 
To be properly cloistered, Paula had to leave 
Rome. In Rome for several centuries, "virgins 
in Christ" had to shelter themselves as best they 
could from the world. It was sometimes difficult, 
for none "ventured publicly to call herself a nun. " 
Eustochium, "that paragon of virgins," as 
Jerome calls her, is one of those who has a specially 
hard time of it. The worldly-minded aunt with 
whom she lives finally decides not to put up any 
longer with her theogamic whims. So she " does " 
her hair and dresses her up, a sacrilege, however, 
soon rued. That ver}'- night an angel threatens 
the impious lady in a dream with the death of all 
her family and hell in the bargain for herself. 
"All of which came to pass in due time. " ^=' After 
this catastrophe, Eustochium goes to live with 
Marcella, a young widow who seems to have been 
very successful in starting monastic fashions 

20 TKe Old-FasKioned "Woman. 

among the high-born and hitherto indifferent or 
disdainful ladies of Rome. 

Cell life was optional with Marcella and her 
proselytes. It was not until a later period that 
the more ambitious widow "professed" who took 
care of the Church's dependents, taught Church 
doctrine, and even baptised, was shut up by an un- 
generous hierarchy and told that as "God's altar" 
it was unbecoming for her to "gad about. "^^ 

The widow who was distingmshed because of 
her human relationship was also ordered by the 
state church into a cloister. In 691 a Spanish 
synod decreed that every widowed queen should 
straightway upon the death of her husband enter 
a convent, "it being intolerable, what often hap- 
pens, that former queens should be insulted."^'* 
Imperial Chinese widows also became nuns to 
avoid "insult," i. e., remarriage. ^^ 

Lacking the conveniences of Buddhism or 
Christianity, royal widows are apt to be seques- 
tered in ex-palaces or in mausolea — when they are 
not immolated at their lord's funeral. Sutteeism 
had been popular for centuries in China, but 
about 200 B.C., before the nun idea arose, it be- 
came a custom for the highest and most favoured 
ladies of the "back palace," to settle down as 
warders of the royal cemetery. ^^ Very like the 

Cloisters and Harems 21 

scene in Ariane et Barbe-Bleu, that most poetical 
of feminist briefs, is the picture of the African 
grave watchers in the gloomy royal cemetery of 
Buganda, "some sitting on their haunches rocking 
to and fro, others crawling stealthily about the 
place, others arranging fresh grass on the floor of the 
tomb, and still others sitting mute and motionless 
as mtunmies."^^ "It is not right for you to wed 
his wives after him ever; verily that is with God a 
serious thing, " decrees Mahomet for his prospective 
widows. ^^ The widows of his imitative viceroys 
are to-day sequestered in superfluous palaces.^' 

Outside of royal circles, widows are generally 
kept at home, — house-mates cannot afford to part 
with them ; but in deference to the dead they are 
kept apart from the living as much as possible. 
They are expected not to dine out or go to "par- 
ties " or even out of doors. Indoors they may not be 
allowed to talk to visitors or to talk at all, or they 
may have to keep themselves so dirty or shabby or 
dreary looking that none will want to talk to them. 

The cloistering of royal widows in convent or 
mausoleum, and the segregation at home of those 
of humbler rank is a corollary of marital pro- 
prietorship and of the conviction that life goes on 
after death along the usual lines. Wife-cloistering 
is always a desideratum in the proprietary family. 

22 TKe Old-FasKioned \S^oman 

It is of course a luxury, like polygyny or sometimes 
even monogamy, ill afforded by the humble. 
Well done, as in the palaces of China, Turkey, 
ancient Mexico, or Dahomi, it is very costly. 
It means great buildings and hordes of servants, 
an outlay within the income of the mighty only. 
But, like polygyny too, it can be so modified as 
to bring it within the means of all. Among the 
Kaya-Kaya of Dutch New Guinea there are sepa- 
rate houses for men and women (as well as a bach- 
elors' club-house outside the village), and the men 
may not enter the women's houses nor the women 
the men's. 3" A Bedouin tent is divided into two 
parts and a man seen entering the women's part 
loses his reputation. ^^ The Greek house was also 
divided, the inner apartments of the women being 
under lock and key. In early English houses the 
women were likewise locked into their own quar- 
ters at night. In America, house architecture is 
determined more by the extent of the lot or the 
size of one's income than by the need of segregating 
the sexes; but, given enough space or money, 
boudoir and "study," drawing-room and smoking- 
room assert themselves. 

It is fitting that the American house should be 
less sexually differentiated than, for example, the 
Greek. The life in it is. The Greek wife did not 

Cloisters and Harems 23 

come to the table at all when there were guests. 
The American sits there for a certain time. Like 
the Greek husband, the American is away from 
home most of the time, but the American wife 
herself does not stay at home as much as the Greek. 

When she did go out, the Greek matron was 
never alone. The American does not go out alone 
on the streets at night, but she does in the daytime. 
Again, unlike the American, the Greek matron 
seems to have entertained her friends very little. 
She never gave women's lunch parties or afternoon 
teas. Nor did she "make calls." 

In the performance of these "social duties" the 
American lady is said to resemble most the Turk- 
ish. In fact I have been told by those who have 
been "in" both, that New York "society," with 
its men "down-town" or at their clubs in the day- 
time, and its women at lunch or " bridge " party, 
at afternoon lecture or concert, with its evening 
parties made up of tired or bored husbands, of 
wives taking more pains than the occasion seems 
to demand, and of a few nondescript persons, 
"interesting" men being unavailable, that this 
"society" was a fair replica of the high life of 
Constantinople. But that was before the escape 
of the desenchantees to Paris and the triumph of 
the Young Turk. 



TN certain circles of our society a rigid line is 
* drawn in a girl's life at a certain moment 
between the ages of seventeen and nineteen. 
It determines her dressing, her hygiene, her 
occupations, her friends, her name, her behaviour, 
her point of view. As she steps across it she 
leaves the nursery for the world. 

"Coming-out" is a custom not peculiar to civili- 
sation. Our debutantes are apt to be older to be 
sure than those elsewhere. Instead of a year or two 
"abroad" or in a "finishing school," savage girls 
usually spend but a few weeks or months in a 
lonely hut or in a bed or hammock or cage in a cor- 
ner of the house or on the roof. But once "out, " 
a debutante's life is ever3rwhere much the same. 
Everywhere at this time particular attention is paid 
to a girl's looks. Her coiffure is very important. 
Her hair is curled or puffed or "put up. " She be- 
gins to add to it or to wear things in it. Chinese 

girls "assume the hairpin."^ In Thackeray's day 


Debutantes 25 

"Lincoln green toxophilite" hats and feathers, 
whatever they may have been, were assumed.^ 
The debutantes skin is generally "improved." 
Sometimes it is tattooed or cicatrised. Sometimes 
it is painted, sometimes merely powdered. Veils 
are worn. Girls are quite commonly protected 
against the sim, if for different reasons. Fasting or 
banting is often required of the girl — with us for 
the sake of her figure, with others for reasons more 
obscure. Nose-, lip-, or ear-rings are generally 
hung at this time. Sennar girls have a tooth 
knocked out.^ I have heard of New York girls 
putting belladonna into their eyes before sallying 
from the dressing-room into the ball-room. Ball- 
dresses of course and in fact an entirely fresh 
wardrobe are requisite, or it may be that now for 
the first time stays or high heels, jewelry or furs, 
petticoats or clothes of any kind are worn. 

A great deal of dancing is in order for the debu- 
tante. First there is the coming-out ball. War- 
rau girls go to theirs with their hair cut and their 
head and arms and thighs set off with pearls and 
feather-down. In Peru the ball for Conibo 
debutantes lasts twenty-four hours. They are 
expected by their chaperons to dance the whole 
time. Fortimately they are not dependent on 
partners, but to keep going they do have to 

26 THe Old-FasKioned Woman 

resort to the same support as our early morn- 
ing dancers. In California a debutante dance 
lasts even longer — nine nights, — although the 
young lady herself is not present until the last. 
To the great coming-out ball of the Wintun tribe 
of California, guests from the entire country-side 
are invited. At the close of the party the chief 
takes the debutante by the hand and dances with 
her down the line of guests, '•^ — something like a 
cotillion figure with the most popular cotillion 
leader of the season as partner. 

There are other ways of course of introducing a 
girl to society besides balls. On both the East 
and West Coast of Africa a street parade seems 
popular. Among the Swahili of Zanzibar the 
young person is dressed up, her face painted and 
her hair frizzled, to be marched through the town, 
teased by her friends en route. All the family 
finery is put on a Tshi debutante. Instead of the 
ordinary cotton petticoat, she wears a piece of 
silk carefully draped over a kind of bustle held in 
place by a belt of beads. Her hair is covered with 
gold ornaments. Necklaces, bracelets, and ank- 
lets of gold and aggry beads engirdle her. Her 
neck and bosom are stencilled with white clay. 
Made thus presentable through family heirlooms 
and the contents of the attic's trunks, she, too, is 

Debvitantes 27 

paraded through the streets, her escort holding 
an umbrella over her and singing songs in her 
honour, s Outside of Africa, debutantes are also 
paraded, although somewhat less ceremonially or 
distinctively. They are merely expected to be at 
hand at fashionable hours on fashionable roads, 
beaches, or lawns. 

Almost everywhere in North America a coming- 
out reception is in fashion. Among the Thlinkets 
of the North-west the debutante was led out by her 
mother and girl friends and mounted on a box at 
a great potlatch. She wore a new calico dress, a 
costly Chilkat blanket, a conical hat with totemic 
designs, silver and abalone-shell nose-rings, silver 
bracelets from wrist to elbow, rows and rows of 
bead anklets, and embroidered moccasins. "Con- 
scious of looking her best, she met without flinch- 
ing the gaze of the curious."** Among the prairie 
Indians a girl stands in gala dress next to her 
mother and welcomes the arriving guests with 
presents.' Women guests among the Musquakie 
themselves bring presents. Men also come to the 
reception, but they take no notice of their hostess 
beyond grunting out their acceptance of the good 
things she hands them to eat.^ 

Wherever people are on intimate terms with 
their gods they naturally invite them to coming- 

28 XHe Old-FasHioned Woman 

out festivities. The Tshis set out for them a 
present of yam and palm oil;' the Patagonians 
sacrifice a horse; the Caffres, from seven to ten 
head of cattle. ^^ In accordance with the tendency 
of civilisation to draw a line ever3rwhere between 
the sacred and the secular, the Christian church 
has its own distinctive coming-out ceremony — 
"confirmation." It is a quiet and modest affair, 
but it too is celebrated with new dresses and 
"parties." Candles are burned in honor of pa- 
tron saints, and the girls themselves receive little 

Among the Swahili, and in the South Sea Islands, 
as well as among Catholic Christians and prairie 
Indians, debutantes receive presents. I surmise 
that the flower-loving Polynesians give their "bud " 
floral tributes just as we fill the drawing-room with 
flowers for ours — bedecking it for her quite as rit- 
ualistically as we do when she marries or dies. 

A girl usually makes her debut in a set. This 
set expresses its solidarity in different ways. In 
the United States it shows itself through girls' 
lunches or "sewing circles" or "teas, "where the 
"buds" "receive" with or "assist" one another. 
They have too their own passwords and pet 
phrases, their own standards and ways of "getting 
on together." On the Congo and elsewhere on 

Debutantes 29 

the West Coast they are still more formally organ- 
ised into secret societies." 

In them, incidentally, they take new names to 
symbolise their rebirth. The girls of Nias and of 
Sierra Leone also change their names. ^^ Our 
girls, now referred to as "young ladies,"* begin 
to attach importance to their family rather than to 
their baptismal name, and with the tag of "Miss" 
their name appears for the first time on their 
mother's visiting-card. 

They are supposed to accompany their mother 
when they "leave" these cards. We hear of 
Ewe debutantes paying calls too^^; but as a rule 
girls merely stay at home to receive them. Among 
the Hottentots, for example, a girl's friends and 
relatives come to her house to congratulate her 
and give her a party — a kind of "surprise" party. 
For eight successive nights a Makololo girl's 
acquaintances come to sing and dance in her court- 
yard. They keep it going until a very late hour. 
Among the Mandingoes such parties keep up for 
two months, but in this tribe a girl's friends invite 
her out too. During this round of gaiety no work 

* Zulu debutantes are called intonjane [Macdonald, J., Manners, 
Customs, Superstitions, and Religions oj South African Tribes, 
Jour. Anthropological Institute, -uTi (1890-1), 117]; KAkuyn debutan- 
tes, moi-re'-tu (Routledge, W. S. and K., With a Prehistoric 
People, p. 141. London, 1910). I have been unable to learn 
the status name of debutantes elsewhere. 

30 XKe Old-FasKioned W^oman 

is required of her, * '' and she is no doubt encouraged 
to get up as late in the morning as she Hkes. 

We should consider two months a very inade- 
quate period to come-out in. After a "gay" 
winter in town, when "respectable" parents "take 
up their carpets, set their houses topsy-turvy, 
and spend a fifth of their year's income in ball sup- 
pers and iced champagne," * "house-parties" and 
a "season" at a "smart" summer resort are due. 
So that the status of our debutantes lasts at least 
one year — giving each more time to accumulate 
cotillion favours and earn the name of being the 
prettiest, or the best dancer, of all the "new girls." 

More primitive debutantes also seek the reputa- 
tion of being a belle — sometimes in ways more 
convincing and consequential than ours; but 
whatever their plan, they are unable to devote 
much time to it because they invariably do what 
is expected of them and — get married. Real- 
ising that the object of their coming-out, of their 
finery and "make-up, " of their dancing, parading, 
and visiting is to advertise themselves as marriage- 
able and to allure suitors, they know better than 
to linger on in that limbo of the "older girls" 
in which impatient parents and a disappointed 
public find it so difficult to take an interest. 

* Vanity Fair, ch. iii. 


TPHE betrothal customs of many peoples would 
■'■ undoubtedly trouble those of us in the habit 
of saying we do not believe in long engagements. 
Frequently children are betrothed in infancy, at 
birth, or even before. Vittoria Colonna was be- 
trothed at three to the Marquis of Pescara. As 
soon as an Eskimo girl is born, a boy suitor is likely 
to present himself to her father.^ In Melanesia 
the father of every new-bom boy is on the watch 
for the birth of a suitable girl.' Every Arunta 
woman is made tualcha mura with some man, i. e., 
she is designated his mother-in-law, her eldest 
daughter to become his wife ; and so f oresighted is 
the Australian that this tualcha mura relationship 
is established between little boys and girls. ^ 

Evidently betrothal is not always for the same 
purpose as we understand it — getting acquainted. 
That in fact seems to be almost everywhere the 
last thing in mind, for the betrothed have usually 


32 XHe Old-FasKioned AVoman 

to avoid one another. In Sardinia they could com- 
municate with each other only from a balcony and 
then only in sign language. '' In Victoria a Black- 
fellow was allowed to gaze at his future bride, but 
he was forbidden to speak to her, although she was 
sent to live for a time with his mother. ^ In the 
Malay islands of Buru, Ceram, and Luang Sermata, 
a suitor did not even look at a girl. ^ After their 
mothers have exchanged calls, a Musquakie is free 
to dog his ladylove's footsteps whenever she goes 
out; but he may not speak to her or follow her 
indoors. Even when she finally smiles at him, 
he is restricted for the next three months to ser- 
enading her. 7 In China, betrothals are negotiated 
by a professional go-between, and until the mar- 
riage presents have been received there is no com- 
munication whatsoever between the betrothed.' 
Should a New Guinea fiancee meet her young 
man on the road, she has to hide behind a tree 
until he passes.' An engaged Dorah couple 
may not refer to each other by name. '° The 
Kumaun bridegroom never sees his bride until he 
joins hands with her at the wedding; the Persian 
and the Egyptian, until they have consummated 
the marriage." 

On the other hand, where getting acquainted 
is the aim of a pre-matrimonial relationship, it is 

Engagements and Honeymoons 33 

sometimes carried out very thoroughly. In the 
New Hebrides a giri betrothed in infancy is 
brought up in the house of her future father-in-law, 
her hoy fiance often thinking that she is his sister. '' 
A Thompson River Indian may court a giri by 
quietly lying down for four successive nights on 
the edge of her blanket. If on the foiu^th night 
she puts her hand on the outside of the blanket, 
she becomes from that moment a wife, ^^ — ^ 
method of courting not unlike the "bundling" or 
"tarrying" of colonial New York and New Eng- 
land. A Dyak girl often marries her lover after 
she has conceived,^'' a sequence customary in 
many places outside of Borneo. In Scotland be- 
fore the Reformation, men and girls would agree 
at the public fairs to live together for a year. At 
the end of this "handfasting" they were free either 
to marry or to part. '^ 

With us an engaged couple may dine together 
or go to the play unchaperoned. In a company 
they are seated next to each other at the table, 
nor is one asked to a party without the other. 
In fact, on every occasion they are conspicuously 
left alone together — except on their wedding-day, 
when they are expected to meet for the first time 
that day at the altar. 

One sometimes questions whether this pecul- 

34 XKe Old-KasKioned A^oman 

iar kind of social ostracism makes after all 
for mutual sympathy or fellowship. — ^A girl just 
engaged once gravely asked me what engaged 
people talked about. — One result it does have, 
however, a result that all types of betrothal plan 
for in some way or another. Trespassers are 
effectively warned off. 

There are several ways of serving notice upon 
trespassers. In New Britain the very word 
"betrothed," webat, means "forbidden to any 
one else." Once Swahili parents receive the 
betrothal gift they are obliged to close their doors 
to all other suitors."^ A betrothed South Arabian 
girl may not go abroad unveiled. An Abyssinian 
is kept indoors during the three or four months of 
her engagement. A Wataveta negress is also kept 
out of other men's sight while her engagement 
lasts — perhaps for years. ^^ When a Chinese girl 
is engaged, "unless there be some great occasion, 
no male enters the door" of her apartment.'^ 
With us no formal notice is served upon a girl's 
other "followers." It is made so unnecessary 
by engagement etiquette that girls in fact quite 
often refuse to "announce" their engagement — 
"an engaged girl has such a poor time." In her 
fear of being shunned, she may even forego wear- 
ing an engagement ring. 

Engagements and Honeymoons 35 

And yet she is free to go "out " — until a few days 
before her wedding. "After the marriage invita- 
tions are issued, the fiancee does not appear in 
pubhc," writes the author of Sensible Etiquette ^^ 
Special precautions are, I suppose, necessary at this 
time, for it is difficult to "break an engagement " 
after the wedding cards have gone out. 

It is trying, for that matter, to break it at any 
time after it has been announced. People ask 
so many questions to find out "whose fault " it is, — 
however "gentlemanly" a man may be in letting 
the girl take all the responsibility for it. And then 
people will take sides, — even when they say of 
the disengaged couple "it is well they found out 
before it was too late. " 

What it is they may find out, their critics do not 
specify. In fact it is accounted caddish — for the 
man at least — to tell, a reserve which in separating 
after marriage is not even allowed, because, I 
suppose, the idea of disqualifying a divorcee for 
remarriage is not entertained. 

But in many communities, including the lower 
circles of oiu: own, engagements like marriages 
may be broken with impunity only for cause. 
In Anglo-Saxon law, "if a man buy a woman and 
the gifta or tradition take not place, let him [the 
woman's guardian] give the money back [to the 

36 TKe Old-FasKioned A^oman 

bridegroom], pay as much more as penalty, and 
recompense the betrothal sureties in as much as 
the breach of their pledge is worth. "^° Among 
Russian peasants, once the parties of the bride and 
groom have shaken hands in the betrothal cere- 
monial, breaking the contract also involves a 
breach of promise suit in which the village court 
awards pecuniary compensation for the dishonour 
suffered. If it is the girl who has been repudiated, 
the damages are heavier because her market value 
has been impaired, ' ^ If a Hindu, who has promised 
his daughter, "does not deliver her afterwards, 
he shall be punished by the King like a thief, in 
case the suitor be faultless." On the other hand, 
a plighted suitor who abandons a "faultless 
maiden" shall "be fined and shall marry the 
maiden, even against his will."'* 

Among the Hindus, or, in fact, wherever the 
proprietary family is well developed, the most 
serious "fault" in a girl is a lack of virginity, and 
on this ground a bride may always be returned to 
her family — as damaged goods, not according to 
contract. Even in our disintegrated family type 
the most successful defence to a breach of promise 
suit is the allegation that the plaintiff has had a 

In breaking an engagement, the betrothal or 

Engagements and Honeymoons 37 

marriage gifts or the bride-price have naturally 
to be returned — from either a pecuniary or a 
sentimental motive, or sometimes perhaps, as in 
the matter of a diamond engagement ring, from 

It is difficult at times to distinguish between 
betrothal gifts and wedding gifts or bride-price. 
Betrothal gifts may be merely a means of identi- 
fying the two personalities — to this end, for exam- 
ple, Wetar and Amboina lovers exchange clothes 
and locks of hair, a Timor-laut man gives his 
sweetheart his belt.*^ An American treasures her 
glove or handkerchief, or gives her his secret 
society pin or a button from his military coat, or, 
like the Genoese of the sixteenth century,^'' an 
unmistakable type of bouquet. On the other 
hand, betrothal gifts may really be the bride-price 
in installments, and the main object of betrothal 
itself is sometimes to allow time to get the bride- 
price together, a matter perchance requiring the 
co-operation of kindred and friends. In fact if 
there is no engagement, there may be no bride- 
price or wedding gifts at all, one of the advantages 
or disadvantages of informality in marrying. 

Elopement or quasi-elopement is not always 
entirely imconventional. In many places mar- 
riage by capture is an institution, and even 

/H -f, Q-^ -a (^ 

38 THe Old-FasHioned W^oman 

where there are more deUberate ways of get- 
ting married elopers may be more or less coun- 
tenanced. In New Guinea, in Bali, and 
elsewhere an eloping bridegroom is regularly called 
upon in due time to pay a compensation price 
to his parents-in-law. ^ s The proper amount 
of "head money" having been paid, a Yoruba 
girl may be escorted in bridal procession to her 
bridegroom's house, or, if her suitor is disapproved 
of by her parents, she may run away with him 
quite without fear of consequences.^*^ A Thomp- 
son River couple may be pursued, like elopers to 
Gretna Green, by an outraged father, but even 
if he catch them he has to deliver his daughter up 
to the man who has already become her husband, 
a Thompson River Indian having but to "touch" 
a girl's breast or heel to marry her. Disinclined 
for a runaway match, more formal minded natives 
can get married by "placing down" at a public 
gathering a number of wedding presents and paying 
no end of family visits.* The ancient Hindus had 

* Teit, pp. 322-5. A round of visits quite like the calls of con- 
gratulation once customary in the United States. "The fiance," 
writes the author of Sensible Etiquette, "is introduced by the family 
of the fiancee to their connections and most intimate friends, and 
his family in return introduce her to relatives and acquaintances. 
The simplest way of bringing this about is by the parents 
leaving the cards of the betrothed with their own, upon all fam- 
ilies on their visiting list whom they wish to have the betrothed 
pair visit" (p. 66). 

Engagements and Honeymoons 39 

as many nuptial rites as the Thompson River 
Indians. The repeating of sacred texts, the making 
of presents (a dress, a bull, and a cow to the bride's 
father) , and the paying of an out and out bride- 
price for the most part differentiated these rites. 
For one of the less esteemed ways of marry- 
ing, however, there were no formalities at all, 

merely "the union of a willing maiden with her 
lover. "^7 

Such curtailments of betrothal or marriage cere- 
monial are apt to be detrimental to the woman. 
In several tribes of California the children of a 
woman for whom no price is paid are no better off 
than bastards.''^ Only the Hindu husband who 
weds his bride with sacred texts, is guaranteed to 
give a woman happiness "both in season and out 
of season, in this world and in the next. "*' With 
betrothal rites or a marriage contract, a Chi- 
nese ^^ or a Baylonian^^ girl became a wife, with- 
out them, a concubine. In Greece and Rome a 
like distinction was made by the marriage portion. ^ * 
Only the woman who had been married with the 
khan mak ceremony inherited a Siamese man's 
property. 3^ Anglo-Saxon "common law" mar- 
riages have caused no end of legal embarrassments 
in the inheritance of property, and the social 
position of a "common law" wife has often been 

40 XHe Old-FasKioned ^i^S^oman 

questionable. Even a civil marriage or in fact 
even shirking an engagement may entail "criti- 
cism." Feeling somehow slighted, either on its 
own account or vicariously, the public asks 
questions which are a little malicious, or offers 
explanations still more so. "If they are not 
engaged, they ought to be, " or "I suppose her 
family objected," or "How can she feel she is 
married?" comments Mrs. Grundy, 

Nor does that lady — or gentleman — like to be 
cheated out of a honeymoon. It is pleasant to 
top off interest in the wedding-dress with interest 
in the "going-away" dress, to play jokes with 
rice and slippers and tags, to speculate about the 
bridal journey and destination, to whisper that 
the bride's mother at any rate knows where they 
have gone, or to offer them one's own cottage or 

Theoretically no one must know where the 
bride and groom are going* — until they get there, 
and then everybody there at least knows, and takes 
an interest. For to take or even show a marked 

*0r escaping to, as the ethnologist, intent on rape symbols, 
puts it. But the author of Sensible Etiquette informs us that 
"it is no longer de rigueur to maintain any secrecy when "the 
newly married depart upon a tour" (p. 344). One notices, in 
fact, a custom growing up in this country of seeing them off 
on their train or steamer — an influence perhaps of peasant 

Engagements and Honeymoons 41 

interest* in a bride and groom is quite customary 
— as long as they are on their honeymoon. 

This period varies, being in fact sometimes more 
and sometimes less than the lunar month. Among 
the Minahassas and the Ceram-laut, bride and 
groom are secluded at home for three days, in 
the Aru Islands for four, 3" in Bulgarians for seven, 
in Luzon for ten, among the Bedui for forty, n** 
"When a man hath taken a new wife he shall not 
go out to war," the Hebrews were told, "neither 
shall he be charged with any business: but he 
shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up 
his wife which he hath taken. "^^ Among the 
Copts a bride may not go out, even to see her 
parents, until her first child is bom or until the 
end of the year. During this period a Tartar 
bride may not speak above a whisper even with 
her parents. An Armenian speaks only with her 
husband and only when she is alone with him. 
With the rest of the household she must com- 
municate in pantomime. She never goes out, 
except at Easter and Christmas to church. If a 
stranger enter garden or house, she rims away and 
hides. 3* For a year or more Wataveta brides 
have no household chores. They are pampered 

*In primitive circles it is expressed at times, when there is no 
bridal tour, in escorting them ceremoniously to their bedroom, 
or in putting them to bed or in serenading them in bed. 

42 XKe Old-FasHioned \S7^oinan 

and dressed up; but they see no man except their 
husbands, a common honeymoon restriction. ^^ 
After the AustraHan woman of Powell's Creek is 
captured or purchased, she is "generally taken 
away to a distance and kept more or less isolated 
with her husband for some months, until she 
contentedly settles down to the new order of 

With us a bride and groom give notice that 
they are about to "settle down" through their 
"at home" cards, a kind of assurance to the pub- 
lic that the difficult task it has set itself, the 
institutionalising of their personal relationship 
is well under way, and that thanks to the disci- 
pline they have just been under they are now 
prepared to put this relationship to the severest 



T^HE old maid is a fleeting phenomenon. She 
•*■ is unknown in savagery and not suffered 
in early civilisation. "When a woman does not 
wed a husband it amounts to a sin worthy of 
death," held the Parsee.' So reprehensible was 
the Hindu father who did not give his daughter in 
marriage as soon as she was nubile, that he was 
made to forfeit her nuptial fee when she married — 
a bridegroom of her own choosing.^ Among the 
Jews in the Russian pale a girl's family, to the 
most distant relatives, will strain every nerve to 
ward off the calamity of celibacy, contributing to 
her dowry, hiding her defects from the marriage 
broker, praying and fasting to move God to send 
her a husband. ^ In early England an old maid was 
"looked on as the most calamitous creature in 
nature. "'' "What 's more monstrous than an old 
maid? "5 cried the Dutchman who so much en- 
joyed being kissed by the yoinig maids of England. 
Erasmus must have known one or two of her, 


44 XKe Old-FasHioned Woman 

but as a category she is strictly a product of the 
nineteenth century. Ahhough one may still 
catch a glimpse of her in pensions or in hotel 
dining-rooms, she really belongs so exclusively 
to the past that, like so many other social facts, 
she is likely to be forgotten before she is under- 

Outside of nineteenth-century civilisation there 
have been of course unmarried women. The 
code of Hammurabi in its extraordinary liberality 
to women scrupulously guarantees property rights 
to certain classes of unmarried devotees.*^ For 
thirty years the Vestal Virgins had to hold office, 
and even when they came out into the world they 
rarely married — "from religious fears and scru- 
ples."' Dismissed from the provincial houses of 
the Inca, the Peruvian women who since childhood 
had been awaiting his pleasure were never allowed 
to marry. The inmates of the houses of the Sun 
were never dismissed, and no man ever entered 
their convents. "For it was said that the women 
of the Sun should not be made common by being 
seen of any. "^ To put an end to scandal and 
libel, the virgins professed of Christendom were 
also cloistered and their vows made irrevocable. 

But Babylonian votaries, Roman Vestals, Peru- 
vian Sun-brides, or Christian nuns were hardly 

Old Maids and "Wedding Rings 45 

old maids. They were all, except perhaps* the 
Romans, married — to deity. Their African pro- 
totypes, West Coast priestesses and Baganda 
princesses, are still given to the gods. 

Such theogamies are an important means of 
keeping the gods content and well disposed, 
always a heavy responsibility. It is quite natural 
that the king-priest should sometimes meet it with 
the help of his daughters. Through them he 
cements an alliance with his god just as he would 
with a human colleague. Subsequently, ambitious 
hierarchies encourage commoners to imitate the 
royal rite. 

But besides serving as a gracious bond between 
the gods and men, sacerdotal brides have other 
functions. The Peruvian Sun-brides wove fine 
clothes for their husband, the Sun. His son and 
proxy, the Inca, wore them. They also baked 
bread and brewed liquor for the Sun's great 
festivals. They had to be most careful in keeping 
up his sacred fire. They must have become 
skilful polishers of metal as they had a "garden of 
trees and plants and herbs and birds and beasts" 
which would have delighted the gold-loving heart 

* Before the Vestal Virgins became the handmaids of the 
Mother Goddess, they may have been given by their chiefly 
father to his sun god. The evidence for this theory, however, 
is slight. 

46 XKe Old-FasHioned W^oman 

of Midas, not to speak of their pots and pans and 
jars.' Christian niins also wove fine garments — 
not always for others. They were of course noted 
needle-women, embroidering ecclesiastical hang- 
ings and vestments and altar pieces. In the days 
of their highest prestige they were also very 
learned ladies. They wrote verses, treatises, and 
plays, and illuminated them. Hildegard of Bingen 
compiled a materia medica, Herrad of Elsass, a 
history of the world. Moreover, the lady abbess 
held property and managed great estates. Shirk- 
ing none of her feudal responsibilities, playing her 
part with scholars and men of affairs, a social or- 
ganiser, a politician, and a traveller, she was 
naturally a distinguished personage. Like the 
Sim-brides of Cuzco, she was of course a woman 
of high birth, and her nunnery was an aristocratic 
school and workshop, — until in later centuries it 
became an almshouse or a hospital." 

When in the sixteenth century the English 
nunnery was doomed, what became of the English 
nun? Did she return to her family averse to 
matrimony, repining over the well-ordered life of 
her nunnery, and taking on airs of superiority 
over women without a mission in life — like the 
homing college girl to-day? 

The college girl can marry whenever she wants 

Old Maids and "Wedding^s 47 

to, we are told — statistically, but it is likely that the 
sixteenth-century ex-nun could not. Then as now 
in monogamous and adventuring England there 
were not husbands enough to go round. Competi- 
tion for them must have grown more lively with 
the disappearance of the nunnery and — to the men 
at least — more demoralising. Its bad effects on 
the Englishman are still marked, effects which, in 
spite of the married women's property acts of the 
eighties and of what the suffragette is doing for 
him to-day, may not wear off for some time. 

Celibate though she was, the medieval nun did 
not have to forego either male society or respecta- 
bility. The passing of the nunnery, however, 
compelled a choice. Towards the close of the 
eighteenth century it was evaded, to be sure, by a 
few favoured ladies, like Mistress Carter and 
Hannah More, women in whom the wittiest 
analyst the Lady has ever had sees foreshadowed 
the unabashed spinster of another period.* But 
the gwa5^"-in dependence and prestige of the Blue- 
Stocking was short-lived even within her own 
narrow circle, and by the time the nineteenth 
century was well started the surplus English- 
woman was either a prostitute or an old maid, f 

* Putnam, The Lady, p. 281. 

t A classification of course that has existed outside of England — 

48 XKe Old-FasKioned W^oman 

In either r61e she was more or less of an outcast. 
The old maid was of course far less nominally 
outcasted than her more wayward sister. Her 
status was supposed to be more involuntary, 
hence she was a greater object of pity and more 
readily excused. Then, too, she was "protected" 
by her family; she did their chores, was subject 
to their whims, or bickered with them. But she 
was in fact cut off from many normal interests 
and sympathies, and like the "fallen" was con- 
stantly discoimted as a failure. Sometimes she 
turned and was herself the bully of the family, 
sometimes she mothered it into affection for her; 
but tyrant or fairy godmother at home, to out- 
siders she was always a dependent, a woman who 
had to make the best of things, an anomaly for 

Finally, however, she, too, if for different rea- 
sons, began to set loose from her family. From 
"taking up things," gardening, "charity," handi- 
crafts, teaching, "writing," the ladylike pastimes 
inherited from the nunnery, from pathetic flings 

with modifications and for reasons other than numerical disparity. 
There was the Dupont family in France (Brieux, Les Trots Filles 
de M. Dupont), for example. For a certain period in this country 
the girl who "did n't want to get married" felt that she had to 
choose between leading "a forlorn life" and playing the r61e of 
professional beauty or charmer, of demi-vierge. 

Old Maids and "Wedding Ring's 49 

for freedom as governess or "companion," she 
betook herself to the forum or the market-place, 
and after some floundering succeeded in making 
herself count in public affairs or in merging herself 
with the wage-earner, the girl who had to support 
herself or others, but who always expected and 
was expected eventually to marry. 

To be sure, as time passes and she does not 
marry, the world notices the fact a little, at least 
to the extent of imdertaking an explanation. 
And its favourite and self -satisfying explanation 
continues to be a disappointment in love, a jilt- 
ing, or a lover dead. The theory that its unex- 
pected spinster was loath either to risk losing her 
job or to return to family segregation, by marry- 
ing, it still declines to entertain. 

Nevertheless, to-day it is the married woman 
who is set apart, who has taken the place left 
empty by the old maid. She is forced either into 
idleness or into fictitious jobs * by the pride of her 
family or by the nature of our economic organisa- 
tion, there being no place in it, outside of depressed 
industries, for a half-time worker. She is "pro- 
tected" at home. She is discounted, excused, and 

* "Parce qu'on dit, sans savoir pourquoi, qu'il est honnete aux 
femmes de travailler; mais souvent ce ne sera qu'une contenance, 
et elle ne s'accoutumera point k un travail suivi." (F^nelon, 
De I' Education des Filles, ch. 11). 

50 XHe Old-FasKioned A^oman 

sometimes pitied,* abroad. Her wedding-ring is a 
token of inadequacy as well as of "respectability." 
There are married women, of course, to whom 
the historical symbolism of the wedding-ring 
does not appeal, or to whom all labels, except 
on cans or in railway stations, are snobbishness, 
or who, like married men, do not feel called upon to 
give themselves away. These ladies may go ring- 
less, but as yet no woman has found any escape 
from being addressed, at least by servants and 
shopkeepers, as "Mrs.," or from the past tense — 
"who was she before she was married?" as we 
say — or from the requirement of using another 
person's name as her signature, or from the liability 
of being asked at sight, in eighteenth-century 
circles and by public school boards, if she is mar- 
ried. Elsewhere, of course, the question is not 
considered well-bred. 

* See, for example, Schnitzler's play Anatol {Weihnachts- 



A FEW years ago Washington society was 
-^^ highly diverted by an incident at a state 
dinner at the White House. As the guests were 
going in to dinner the White House aide noticed 
that two couples stayed behind. They were a 
Western senator, his wife, and their dinner 
partners. "I find, " said the Senator to the aide, 
"that I am not taking my wife in to dinner. I 
married my wife to take her in to dinner, and 
unless I can do so to-night we are going home. " 
Presumably the youthful aide was unable to 
controvert this view of conjugality, for it was 
said that the Senator and his wife sat side by side 
at the dinner table, the President after dinner clap- 
ping the Senator on the back and saying, "Bully 
for you, old fellow, I wish there were more like 

* It was also said that the wife of this Senator, a millionaire, 
got her carfare from him as she needed it, and that to win his 
consent to a new dress required considerable manoeuvring. 


52 XHe Old-FasKioned "Woman 

In Washington and in our Eastern States such 
proximity is unconventional. "It will never do 
for you to sit next to your husband," your un- 
preordaining hostess exclaims, "I am on this 
side, so you must be on the other, " says, in pass- 
ing, the spouse first to find his or her seat at the 
dinner-table. Dinner-table manners also require 
a certain amount of conjugal obliviousness. It 
is at least bad form for a wife to listen with any 
sign of enjoyment to her husband's stories or to 
laugh at his jokes. It is too much like laughing 
at her own. 

On the other hand, the view that "a man who 
respects himself will not go to a house where his 
wife is not asked" persists throughout the coun- 
try, even if in certain circles a man no longer 
"forces " a dinner invitation for his wife by remark- 
ing upon her existence when he himself is asked 
out to dinner. Ladies, too, feel bound to decline 
a dinner invitation their husbands cannot accept. 
If reinvited as they occasionally are, with a "come- 
anyway," their " Do-you-really-want-me-without- 
him? " calls for a more or less elaborate reassurance 
from their would-be hostess. 

Then, too, no man, once a popular bachelor, 
can fail to notice that as soon as he is married his 
invitations fall off, or that when his wife goes into 

One 53 

the country or to Europe their curve is apt to rise 
again, or that he seems to know an unusual 
number of hostesses whose need of "filling a 
place" is chronic. 

Although in many societies eating together is 
by no means a requirement in marriage — in fact 
a taboo on commensality is far more general — 
the Senator's underlying theory of conjugal 
identification is widespread and very old. "He 
that loveth his wife loveth himself," says the 
Jew. ^ So indivisible in Anglo-Saxon law were 
husband and wife that she could neither sue nor 
be sued without him.* The Hindu holds that a 
wife assumes her husband's qualities, whatever 
they may be, "like a river united with the ocean. " ^ 
Half his body, she shares equally the result of his 
good or wicked deeds;'* and wives and slaves 
remain "impure" as long as their lord. ^ Hindu 
salutations being regulated according to age, 
married women are saluted according to the 
comparative ages of their husbands.^ With us, 
too, "precedence" is somewhat determined by 
age, although not vicariously. And yet in Wash- 
ington, the wife, however young, of a senator or 
cabinet officer precedes the wife, however old, of a 
representative or general. " Les Jemmes n'ont pas 
de rang.'" 

54 THe Old-FasKioned Woman. 

Nor, sometimes, any allegiances, Napoleon 
might have added. In feudal Japan a woman 
was told that she had no particular lord. "She 
must look to her husband as her lord." Nor 
was she to "selfishly think first of her own parents, 
and only secondly of her husband's. "^ While 
the Russian bridegroom is leading his bride home, 
he hits her lightly from time to time with a whip, 
saying at each stroke: "Forget the manners of 
thine own family, and learn those of mine."* 
A Bengal bride has only to eat and drink cere- 
monially with her bridegroom to be transferred to 
his clan; a New Guinea bride has only to be 
smeared with his blood. ^ The seventeenth-century 
Englishwoman was bound not only to "follow the 
quality " of her husband, but his "Country, Family 
and Habitation." She was "bound to accompany 
him in all things, in his Journeys, his Banishment, 
his Imprisonment, yea although he be condemned 
to be a wandering Person, a Vagabond and a 
Fugitive." *° In the United States an alien woman 
has only to marry a citizen to become one herself, 
and an American husband has the right to fix the 
"matrimonial domicile" where he pleases." 

Ideas of conjugal identity are often expressed 
in primitive therapeutics. Among the Cherokees 
neither husband nor wife may send for the doctor 

One 55 

for the other, for neither may pay him his fee of 
deerskin or moccasins — an offering to the disease 
spirit or a cover to protect the hand of the shaman 
engaged in pulHng out the sickness from the 
patient's body. In consequence of this rule a 
shaman may not treat his own wife. '^ In South 
AustraHa a Blackfellow wife spits blood from her 
gums on to a leaf as medicine for an ill husband. ^^ 
Warramunga and Tjingilli tribesmen wear their 
wives' head-rings for headache, believing that the 
pain will pass off into the ring.^"* The Romans 
had just the same cure for headaches. ^^ The 
Chiquito of Brazil perhaps carry belief in a wife's 
influence to an extreme. Always holding her re- 
sponsible for her husband's illness, they kill her 
to enable him to recover. ^ ^ 

Against such wifely devotion or self-sacrifice, 
at critical times women often receive marked 
marital attentions. In pregnancy, for example. 
Although conjugal intimacy is frequently taboo 
at this time, and although it is the time when a 
man is apt to take a second wife — legitimately 
or illegitimately according to what happens to be 
the law of his land — nevertheless, he is called upon 
to be particularly considerate, in certain respects, 
of his first. Among the Transcaucasian Pshaves 
he stays away, together with his wife, from all 

56 XHe Old-FasKioned "Woman 

public festivities. '^ In Malacca he never goes out 
of her sight or, in the New Britain islands, out of 
doors. ^ ^ Should an Atjeh of Sumatra have to leave 
his wife alone at this time, he has at least to re- 
move some of the rungs of the house ladder — to 
mislead the malicious spirits who are hanging 
about. ^' An Arunta husband must keep from 
killing large game in order not to add to his wife's 
sickness or suffering.^" A man of Mowat, New 
Guinea, must not spear turtle or dugong*' — 
whether for his wife's sake or his own or the quarry's 
we are not told. Were a Caff re husband to bathe 
at this time, he would pay the price himself — by 
drowning. ^^ A Chinaman is very careful not to 
disturb the earth spirits, lest his wife miscarry. 
Towards the end of her pregnancy he will displace 
nothing heavy inside his house, for it is well 
known that things too heavy to be easily moved 
are favourite spirit haunts. ^ •^ A Bageshu husband 
may not climb a tree or rocks or go on the roof of 
a house or take any violent exercise lest he should 
slip or tire himself, and so himself cause his wife 
to miscarry.^'' In many other places an expect- 
ant father must keep from taking personal risks 
or from hard work. Again, he may not cut his 
hair or work with tools or shed blood. He has 
still more commonly to fast or diet himself. '* 

One 57 

It is probable that much of this regime of his is 
primarily for the sake of the unborn child, still, 
its mother is naturally involved. 

In civilisation a man has fewer chances of this 
kind to show his wife sympathy, although his 
unwillingness to "leave her alone," she being 
more or less secluded at this time, sometimes ap- 
pears to be somewhat ceremonial — when, for 
example, it gets a man out of an imenticing dinner 
engagement or frees him from jury duty. 

In child-birth a sympathetic husband has also 
a greater number of conventional opportunities 
in savage than in civilised life. He it is who must 
exorcise or fool the spirits who are hanging about 
with evil intent. He can also shorten a difficult 
labour, assure a safe delivery, and hasten convales- 
cence. In the Philippines, an anxious husband 
patrols his house all night, fighting off the birth 
demons with a drawn sword. "^ If an Arunta 
woman is having a hard time, her husband's 
hair girdle is tied tightly aroimd her body, and 
if that does not work, he himself parades past her 
quarters in the women's camp to lure the un- 
born child after him. He is said rarely to fail.'^ 
In the islands of Torres Straits, a sympathetic 
husband had to stand in the sea until his legs were 
cold, when the child surely would be bom, or to 

58 XHe Old-FasHioned Woman 

keep diving until it was bom, sometimes for 
hours. ^^ In Samoa, a husband is held responsible 
for all his wife's labour pains, — "probably he has 
been running after other women, "^^ — but we are 
not told whether or not he tries to alleviate her dis- 
tress. A Thompson River Indian husband helps 
his wife to give birth quickly by himself taking a 
ceremonial bath and run.^** The Nias husband 
pulls out nails for her, ^^ the Watubella^^ or 
German ^3 has her lie on his clothes or wear them; 
the Serua prays for her — ^4 \{]^q many another 
husband elsewhere whose prayers are perhaps 
only less set. 

In Kamchatka a husband must keep from work- 
ing on his wife's account during her convalescence 
from child-birth, ^s A Maori New Zealander 
takes part in a rite to enable his wife to secrete 
more milk. ^^ In many other places he does more 
than that. On the Congo, throughout South 
America, in the Malay Archipelago, in Southern 
India, among a primitive tribe of China, among 
the Basques, he actually simulates convalescent 
conditions. He diets, takes a holiday from work, 
or even betakes himself to bed or hammock. 
Whatever may be the meaning of this custom, — 
the couvade, as it is called, — it plainly either di- 
rectly or indirectly makes for conjugal identity. 

One 59 

The Miaos of China even say that the husband goes 
to bed — and among them he Hes in for forty days — 
because he should bear the same hardships as his 
wife "; and the Erukala-Vandlu of Southern 
India, who put on their wives' clothes and cover 
themselves up in bed in a dark room as soon as 
labour begins, ^* are said to be actually attempting 
to trick the malevolent birth spirits into taking 
husband for wife. 

Lydia Darrah, the Philadelphia Quakeress, 
had undoubtedly never heard of the couvade 
but she justified her lie to General Howe through 
analogous reasoning. Suspicious that his plan 
to surprise Washington at White Marsh had 
been betrayed, the British general asked his 
Quaker hostess if any of her family were up, con- 
trary to his expressed wish, the night he met his 
"friends" in her house. "No," answered Lydia, 
without hesitation, and asked afterwards how she 
could say they were all abed when she herself 
was eavesdropping, she replied, "Husband and 
wife are one, and that one is the husband, and 
my husband was in bed. " ^^ 

Conjugal sympathy may be harmful as well as 
helpfiil — at least to those who believe that womanly 
weakness is infectious. And so in many societies 
fishermen and himtsmen, planters, warriors and 

6o XKe Old-FasHioned Woman 

ritualists must keep away from their wives on the 
eve of or during their undertakings. In Australia, 
conjugal separation is necessary to rain-making 
and to a good crop of grass ; "•* at Panai in the Torres 
Straits, to a plentiful fruit harvest; ^^ in New 
Guinea, to the reproduction of turtles. '•* It en- 
sures success in bird hunting in the Marshall 
Islands; in fishing, in the Toaripi district of New 
Guinea and in the Carolines ; in whaling, in Mada- 
gascar and in Nootka Sound; in trapping, among 
the Bangala of the Upper Congo ; in sowing, among 
the ancient Mexicans and Nicaraguans; in fight- 
ing, in New Caledonia, the Kei Islands, New 
Zealand, South Africa, South-east New Guinea, 
among Malays and North American Indians.''^ 
It is an indispensable mourning observance in 
New Caledonia, Sierra Leone, British Columbia, 
ancient Peru and Egypt, Japan and China, and 
among the Ewes, Baganda, Malers, Nagas, and 
Hindus.''^ It qualifies for "curing" among the 
Nukahivahs, the Akikuyus and Nandi of Africa, 
and the Huichols of Mexico; and for the per- 
formance of other religious rites in Hawaii, among 
the Ewes, Fjorts, and Bahima, among the Eskimo, 
Tsimshian, Zuiii, and Hopi, among the ancient 
Mexicans, Nicaraguans, Hondurans, and Peruvi- 
ans, among the tribesmen of the Rajmahal and 

One 6l 

Nilgiri Hills and of Assam, among the ancient 
Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, among Brah- 
mans, Gainas, Buddhists, Moslems, Jews, and 
Christians. "♦ 5 

But conjugal separation does not always free 
hunter or forager or warrior or priest from his 
wife's influence. If a Hottentot woman lets the 
fire go out, her husband's himt will be unlucky. "^ 
While her husband is out himting a Wagogo 
must not let anyone pass behind her or stand in 
front of her as she sits. She must lie on her face 
in bed. ''■' Were the wife of a Laos man to cut 
her hair or oil her body while he is out after 
elephants, the beasts would burst the toils or 
slip through them. ''^ Among the Kayans and 
Kenyahs of Sarawak, should a wife touch a comb 
while her husband is away collecting camphor, 
the spaces in the tree fibres where you would ex- 
pect camphor will turn out to be as empty as 
those between the teeth of a comb.'" A Tcham 
wife must not scold or quarrel while her husband 
is out looking for eagle-wood lest he be torn to 
pieces by bears or tigers, s® When a Dyak is 
head-himting his wife must wear a sword day and 
night to make him ever mindful of his own weap- 
ons. She may not sleep during the day or go 
to bed before two in the morning, to keep her 

62 TKe Oldl-FasKionecl "Woman 

husband from being surprised by the enemy in 
his sleep. ^^ Wives of Tshi warriors in a campaign 
paint themselves white, wear beads and charms, 
and march daily through the town calling upon 
the gods to protect their husbands. ^^ During 
war the wives of Malay warriors may not cut 
their hair. ^^ In the Babar Islands they have to 
fast, S'' and among the Yuki Indians, to dance, ^s 
The Galla wife of a pilgrim to the abba-mudd, 
a high priest, must eat only of a special kind of 
bread baked in ashes. ^^ A Tsimshian Indian 
can compel the gods to grant his prayer by 
fasting and conjugal abstinence for four or seven 
days — providing his wife is faithful to him.^^ 
Lyngstrand, the Norwegian sculptor, felt that if 
there were a devoted woman somewhere thinking 
of him, his work would be a success.* " No woman 
without piety in her heart is fit to be the companion 
of any man, " writes Timothy Titcomb, for "a man 
who has the prayers of a pious wife, and knows he 
has them . . . can rarely become a very bad man. 
A daily prayer from the heart of a pure and pious 
wife, for a husband engrossed in the pursuits of 
wealth or fame, is a chain of golden words that links 
his name every day with the name of God."t — 

* The Lady from the Sea, Act iv. 

^Letters to Voting People, p. 30. New York, i860. 

One 63 

Evidently among many communities a faithful 
wife is a "great help" or " inspiration " to a man. 
Although prayer is sometimes rendered in- 
effectual by conjugality, nevertheless a priest's 
wife — when he has one at all — appears to be pe- 
culiarly related to his office. She is often neces- 
sary to his sanctity; a tie between him and his 
god. Often she is his god's mouthpiece ; sometimes 
his mistress. Her children might even be im- 
puted to the god. Distinguished Pelew Island 
priests prophesied only through the women 
they shared conjugally with their gods." Along 
the West Coast and elsewhere in Africa priest and 
god have a like partnership, and the fetich wife 
helps her priest-husband in his rites. ^^ Egyptian 
priests kept harems of sacred concubines. ^^ In 
Greece, the wife of the Archon Basileus, the 
Basilissa, performed state sacrifices and every 
spring took part in a "sacred marriage" with Dio- 
nysus. ^^ In Rome, the presence of the Flaminica, 
the wife of the Flamen Dialis, was necessary 
at many of the rites. ^' Early Christian heresi- 
archs sometimes worked so intimately with women 
that the orthodox, at least, had no doubt as to 
the meaning of the collaboration. At one time 
their agapetce lay the orthodox priests themselves 
open to suspicion. ^^ 

64 XHe Old-KasKioned W^oman 

As a rule, however, a wife-priestess had to be a 
woman without a past, and her conduct in marriage 
impeccable. The wife of the Archon Basileus, 
of the Flamen Dialis, and of the Jewish high 
priest "^^ had to be a virgin. No Jewish or Christ- 
ian priest could marry a divorcee or a courtesan. 
To the Christian, servants and actresses were 
also taboo and even widows were ineligible.^'' 
The Christian husband of a straying wife could 
not be ordained, and were he already in the priest- 
hood, he had forthwith to divorce her, she ren- 
dering him unfit for office. ^ ^ The wives of deacons 
had, moreover, to be "grave, not slanderers, sober, 
faithful in all things."**^ 

The time came when a great part of the Christ- 
ian church freed itself altogether from the vexing 
questions inevitably brought up by limiting cleri- 
cal conjugality; but in some of its minor com- 
munions, in the Greek and Anglican, a wife has 
been more or less of a qualification for ecclesiasti- 
cal office. And her behaviour continues to be 
closely scrutinised. As among the Cherokees, the 
wife of a modem physician is not "attended" 
by her husband — it is in fact contrary to pro- 
fessional etiquette, — ^but who ever heard of a 
minister's wife not going to her husband's church, 
and must not his wife be a very unscrupulous 

One 65 

woman to call in question even in a drawing-room 
any dogma he teaches? 

Very long before the split in the theory of eccle- 
siastical marriage in Christendom there had come 
to be a still more important change in the general 
theory of the priesthood. It meant that the 
original priest-chief was to be differentiated into 
priest and king, that despite occasional back 
eddies the temporal was to be separated from the 
spiritual power. But the cleavage was not always 
clear cut. Divinity and sacerdotal functions 
continued to attach to many an early king. And 
their wives had a share in such survivals. If the 
Inca of Peru still represented his father, the Sun, 
the Ccoya represented her mother, the Moon. ^^ 
The Queen of Egypt was married to Ammon-Ra 
as well as to the Pharaoh. ^^ In many an Asiatic 
kingdom queens bore the ceremonial name of 
the goddess mate of the god of their king. A 
queen was part of an Oriental king's ceremonial 

In modem Europe, kings also depend on queens 
to perform adequately what is expected of them. 
Do not Republicans too like their presidents to 
be married men? Do not the wives of English 
candidates for office campaign for their husbands 
and, although this English form of conjugal 

66 TKe Old-FasKioned AVoman 

co-operation is still considered bad style in the 
United States, are not American candidates 
always photographed in family groups? 

Now, just as it would be highly unconventional 
for the wife of a Presbyterian clergyman to be a 
professing Episcopalian or Agnostic, it would 
be very awkward for the Queen of England to be 
an outspoken Socialist, or the Empress of Germany 
an Anarchist, or Mrs. Taft a Democrat. Would 
it not get their husbands into trouble? Indeed, 
"tact" is expected of even the wives of diplomats, 
of cabinet officers, or of government officials still 

If the political views of queens have to be those 
of their kings, if diplomats and statesmen are held 
responsible for the indiscretions of their wives, 
why should not the wives of ordinary subjects or 
citizens belong at least to the same political party 
as their husbands? In fact, are not the anti- 
suffragist arguments that husbands ought to re- 
present and do represent their wives, entitled 
to consideration? At any rate, the suffragist 
should admit that she is precluded from political 
"rights" thanks not to Modern but to Early Man 
and to the status of the very priestess or queen 
she sometimes cites as precedent for her claim to 

One 67 

The representative character attaching to hus- 
bands must have always caused them anxiety. 
In Costa Rica deaths are attributed to the "in- 
fectious" nature of pregnancy and the husband of 
a woman pregnant for the first time has to pay 
the doctor and undertaker bills of the commimity . *^' 
In East Central Africa if a husband eat food salted 
by an adulterous wife, he will die. So in order 
always to be on the safe side, he employs a little 
girl to regularly salt his food.''" Under like cir- 
cumstances it is death to the Acaxee Indian to 
taste salt, however handled, so he feels compelled 
to forego- it altogether — when he is away from 
home. 7* Saxo Grammaticus tells us that once 
in Upsala there lived a priest of Odin whose wife 
Frigga was so greedy and licentious, so "im- 
worthy to be the consort of a god," that her 
priest -husband had to go into exile imtil she died.'^ 
If a Hindu wife drinks spirits, in accordance with 
the mathematics of Hindu conjugality, "half the 
body" of her husband "falls. "'^ American hus- 
bands appear at times to have something of the 
feeling this downfall must cause over wives who 
smoke or show their ankles or "get into" Town 

Indeed, since the rise of our "new woman" 
marital representativeness has come to be so 

68 XKe Old-FasKioned Woman 

beset with dangers that some day husbands are 
likely to disown it in toto. Years ago in fact they 
rebelled, and with more or less success, against 
being held responsible — legally — for a wife's mis- 
demeanours or debts. They even advertised their 
independence in the newspapers. That parti- 
cular form of grumbling against a wife's extrava- 
gance has gone out of fashion, but does it not 
suggest a practical way of meeting other marital 
difficulties, of dealing with a wife's opinions, for 
example, so much more injurious to her husband's 
reputation than her bills? 

The following form would be, I am told, from a 
legal point of view, correct: 

To Whom It May Concern 
" The Undersigned hereby gives notice that he 
will not be responsible for any opinions held or 
expressed by his wife, Mary Doe, in her or his 
name, all proper provision (of opinions) for said 
Mary Doe having been made by the under- 
"Dated " 

A formal notice of this kind would be particularly 
advantageous to politicians — and to their wives. 
As it is, although wifely heterodoxy is awkward, 
calling for constant explanation, it is not nearly 

One 69 

as serious as a husband's agreement with his wife's 
views, a situation which can never be explained. 
In no calling or profession, but in public life least 
of all, can a man afford to be accounted the ex- 
ponent or champion of his wife's ideas or interests. 



T^HERE seems to be a tendency of the mind not 
^ only to want to know but to want to compli- 
cate knowledge. Until modern science stepped 
in, conception was one of the many facts of life 
which apparently could be explained too simply 
to satisfy. "Where does a baby come from?" 
ask both Child and Savage, and the answers for 
both are oddly elaborate. From cabbage patch 
or rose bush, stork-brought, in the doctor's 
bag, believes the Child and, with but a trifling 
modification, the Savage — or any other childlike 
speculator. The latter, unlike the Child, can not 
overlook pregnancy, to be sure, but as to how 
the child spirit first reaches its mother he feels 
quite free to theorise. 

No Australian woman will approach certain 
well-known boulders unless she wants a baby ; for 
boulders are the haunts of innumerable spirits 
eager for incarnation. An inhospitable woman 


XKe Insignificant Parent 71 

also keeps out of the way, if she can, of a whirl- 
wind, for it too harbours a spirit child in search 
of a mother.* The mother of Hiawatha was 
said to be quickened by the West Wind. So was 
the ancestress of the Minahassas of Celebes. 
Sumatrans believe that the neighbouring island 
of Engano is populated by the mistresses of the 
Wind. There is a Moslem tradition of a pre- 
Adamite race of women who conceived daughters 
and daughters only by the Wind.^ 

In some places women have more reason than 
men to be afraid of snakes. Dahoman girls were 
let down into a great ditch to meet the snake 
representative of their serpent god, and some- 
times, to conceive by him.^ Basuto maidens go 
through a like experience in a river bed. '' Among 
the Ibibio of Nigeria, secret society men have 
compelled women to marry a member of their 
society on pain of marrying the Great Snake. ^ 
Alexander the Great was snake-begotten — at least 
his juridical father seemed sufficiently persuaded 
of it to divorce Olympias, his mother. ^ Scipio was 
also popularly believed to have been begotten by 
the serpent who haunted the chamber of his 
mother. ' 

Women need protection not only against snakes 
and winds. They have to be shielded, above all. 

72 XKe Old-rasKioned W^oman 

from the Sun. Great is his phallic power. He 
looks down upon a Tonga princess asleep on the 
sea beach and begets a son.^ A certain Samoan 
maiden had merely to look up at him to conceive. ^ 
So devoted to him was the daughter of a Zuni 
priest-chief that her jealous people killed her. 
Dying, she gave birth to twin sons.'" The Sun 
also gets the virgin princesses of Greece into no 
end of trouble. Incarnate in the Pharaoh he more 
legitimately begets the rulers of Egypt '^ and, in 
what form I do not know, the emperors of China. ^ * 
In Greece, in Peru, in Babylonia, special women 
are espoused to him — perhaps to dissuade him 
from trespass with the wives of men. In India, 
on the other hand, his attentions are ritually 
solicited. A bride is ceremonially exposed to him 
and her human bridegroom formally invites him 
to impregnate her. ' ^ 

Sometimes the Sun's priests serve as his proxies 
in his human marriages. Priests in general are 
credited with either direct or indirect phallic 
facility. Barren women visit the hot-air vents of 
the Syrian Baths of Solomon and the paternity 
of subsequent offspring is imputed to Abu Rabah, 
the saint of the baths. ^'' Turkish women who 
felt that they had conceived during their Friday 
or Easter visits to the mosque, called their infant 

TKe Insignificant Parent 73 

a son of the Holy Ghost. '^ In the Chinese pro- 
vince of Koeang-Si stood a Buddhist cloister 
containing The Hall of the Children and Grand- 
children. In its cells would-be mothers were 
directed to spend a night in prayer. The next 
morning they generally reported that in a dream 
Buddha or one of his eighteen disciples had 
embraced them. *^ A Brahman virgin widow was 
once taken by her father to call on his guru, 
Ramanand. Ramanand graciously but thought- 
lessly greeted her with the wish that she might 
bear a son. And she did.*^ Elisha promises a 
son to his Shunammite hostess.*^ In Queensland 
pregnancy may also result from the mere wish of a 
medicine-man, ^^ 

Very persistent is this doctor's bag theory. 
Gaina and Buddhist monks are forbidden, to be 
sure, to practise ' ' the low art of making a woman 
fruitful,"^" but Christian saints or hermits, Saint 
Hilarion, Simeon Stylites, and many another 
have ever felt at liberty to guarantee offspring 
to the faithful. Nicholas II, I have read, de- 
creed the canonisation of the prelate to whose 
prayers devout Russians believed the birth of his 
heir was due. 

We might infer from these impregnation beliefs, 
and a great many others — conception from rain, 

74 XKe Old-FasKionecl ^^omatx 

from fire, from smells, from endless kinds of food 
or tastes or drink — that by the credulous paternity 
would be entirely disregarded, but people are sel- 
dom thoroughly logical. In this case the theory 
of fictitious or juridical paternity precludes any 
awkwardness that magical conception or divine 
or human poaching might cause a proprietary 
husband. Let us recall the theory as stated by 
Manu: "Those who, having no property in a 
field, but possessing seed-corn, sow it in another's 
soil, do indeed not receive the grain of the crop 
which may spring up. . . . Thus men who have 
no marital property in women, but sow their seed 
in the soil of others, benefit the owner of the 
woman; but the giver of the seed reaps no ad- 
vantage. . . . The receptacle is more important 
than the seed. . . . Even if the seed is carried by 
water or wind, the crop belongs to the owner of 
the field."" 

Indeed, in many ways this theory of paternity 
is preferable, given the proprietary family or 
survivals of it, to any theory that might be based 
on actual fatherhood. It allows all the responsi- 
bility of parenthood to be put upon the mother, — 
when a man does not wish to assume it. It 
justifies a defense de chercher la patemite, as the 
Code Napoleon puts it, or, the fact of paternity 

THe Insignificant Parent 75 

proved, but a trifling charge — $500 in Illinois," 
for example — for the support of the illegitimate 
child. The theory also puts all responsibility of 
childlessness upon the woman and justifies divorc- 
ing her for barrenness or for bearing ill-fated 
infants or only girls. 

It may go even further. Father of nine 
daughters, a Bulgarian peasant cries out to their 
mother : 

" 1st das zehnte auch ein Madchen, 
Schneid' ich ab dir deine Fusse 
Deine Fiisse in den Knieen 
Deine Arme an den Schultern 
Steche aus dir deine Augen 
Ungestalt und blind wirst werden, 
Schones Weibchen, junges Frauchen!"'» 

Under such circumstances paternal desperation 
would not vent itself with us in quite the same way ; 
nor is barrenness recognised in our law as a cause 
for divorce. But may not the reluctance of our 
lawmakers to require medical certificates at mar- 
riage, or to penalise the married for communicating 
the diseases which cause barrenness, be perhaps 
partly due to a lingering notion of the insignifi- 
cance of physical paternity? 



TIAVING a baby has never been as easy as it 
■■• ■'• might be — even for savage women. And 
yet we think of it as much less trying for them 
than for our civilised women. In making this 
comparison we entirely overlook all the social 
complications of the function, greater in savagery 
even than in civilisation. 

In primitive thought a woman is supposed to 
be able to influence the looks, health, character, 
and career of her unborn child in no end of ways. 
Consequently, great circumspection and self-depri- 
vation are required of her. Diet is particularly 
important. Australians believe that congenital 
deformities are caused by the eating of forbidden 
things during pregnancy. A boy once told Roth 
that he was humpbacked because before his 
birth his mother had eaten porcupine.^ In the 
Islands of Torres Straits should an expectant 
mother eat at, a flat fish, or gib, a red fish, her 
baby would have poor eyes and an unshapely nose 


Pregnancy Taboos 77 

or be wrinkled like a dotard. To give him a 
good voice and lusty lungs she must eat certain 
kinds of shell-fish which make a hissing sound 
while roasting. If he is bom with a dark com- 
plexion, it means that his mother has been too 
lazy to roast the peculiar kind of earth eaten 
by women in pregnancy.* In the Admiralty 
Islands a woman does not eat yams, lest her child 
be lanky, or taro bulbs, lest it be dumpy. Were 
she to eat pork, it would have bristles in place of 
hair. ^ A Caffre woman does not eat buck or the 
underlip of a pig, lest her baby should be ugly or 
have a large underlip.'' Nor does a Thompson 
River Indian eat hare, lest he have a harelip. If a 
Thompson River woman ate or even touched with 
her hand porcupine or anything killed by an eagle 
or hawk, the child would look and act like them. 
If she ate fool-hen or squirrel the child would be 
foolish or a cry-baby. ^ Among the Kabuis, a 
pregnant woman may not eat any animal that 
has died with young. In Servia, if she eat pork 
or fish, her child will be cross-eyed or slow to 

In the islands of Amboina and Uliase, a preg- 
nant woman is expected to restrain her appetite 
in general, otherwise her child will be greedy.' In 
other ways maternal conduct is often too of serious 

78 THe Old-FasKioned "Woman 

sympathetic import to the unborn. It is quite 
commonly beHeved, for example, that to ensure 
a safe delivery a woman should avoid all knots or 
ties or bands. Hence in some of the islands of the 
Malay Archipelago, she may not weave cloth or 
plait mats; nor, in parts of Germany, pass under 
a clothes-line or spin or reel or twist anything. 
In the Uliase islands a woman is careful not to 
lean against a cooking-pot, otherwise her child 
will be black. In Saxony, if she kick a pig or hit 
a dog or a cat, the child will have bristles on 
its back or hair on its face. The superstitious 
Berliner believes that if she has a tooth pulled, 
her child will be born a cripple.' Elsewhere in 
Germany a pregnant woman must beware of 
entering a court of justice or of taking an oath, 
otherwise her child will be involved for life in 
legal troubles. Should she pilfer, her child could 
not keep from stealing. Should she wear a soiled 
apron, touch dirty water, or pin on a nosegay, her 
child would be a coward or have ugly hands or 
a foul breath. ' 

Likewise credulous of prenatal influences, many 
of our own countrywomen practise sympathetic 
magic for the good of an expected child. They 
surround themselves with beautiful objects that 
the child may have a love for the beautiful. 

Pregnancy Taboos 79 

They read poetry, listen to music, or look at pic- 
tures to endow the child with an "artistic tempera- 
ment " or with poetical or musical tastes. One 
expectant mother I knew of hung a picture of a 
beautiful child where her eyes would often fall upon 
it in order that her own child might be beautiful.* 

On the other hand, disfigurements or birth- 
marks are very commonly accounted for through 
"maternal impressions," Unwonted contacts 
with animals are often thought to be the cause 
of these experiences. We remember of course the 
necklace-hidden mark on the neck of Elsie Venner, 
and how she was supposed to have come by her 
serpent nature. Not far from the house chosen 
by Holmes for his heroine lives a man whose face 
was marked at birth with a great mole, from which 
now grows in the midst of his black beard an inch 
or more of grey hair, and his old mother says that 
when she was carrying him she was once hit in the 
same part of her face by a dead mouse flung out 
of the bam as she was passing. 

During pregnancy a woman is peculiarly sub- 
ject to devils or to black magic . She must therefore 
be on her guard. In some of the islands of the 

* I have lately learned that the notion was not original with 
her. "Some mothers cannot fix their eyes on certain Pictures 
without leaving the complexion or some marks in their Infants." 
{Decency in Conversation amongst Women, p. 165. London, 1664.) 

8o XHe Old-FasKioned W^oman 

Malay Archipelago she never leaves the house 
without a knife to frighten away evil spirits. 
In northern Celebes she must never go about with 
her hair down — flowing hair is ever a favourite 
lodging-place for spirits. ^° Basuto women wear a 
skin apron and Wataveta women, veils, to protect 
themselves against pregnancy witchcraft." The 
Esthonian peasant should be careful to wear a 
different pair of shoes each week, to throw the 
devil off her track. The nereids of Greece are 
malevolent to pregnant women. So women are 
expected to avoid their haunts, not to sit under 
plantains or poplars, not to linger near springs or 
streams. The Gipsy woman of Siebenburgen is 
careful to cover her mouth with her hand when 
she yawns, to keep the evil spirits from slipping 
down her throaf — perhaps the original rea- 
son for this "form of politeness" under other 

Continence taboos during pregnancy are wide- 
spread. They are generally for the sake of the 
child. But they are sometimes for the sake of 
the woman and sometimes for her husband's 
sake. Her husband may be still further safe- 
guarded. In the Caroline Islands his pregnant 
wife may not eat with him; in Fiji, she may not 
wait upon him.'^ The Chinese husband did not 

Pregnancy Taboos 8i 

see his wife at all during the latter part of her 
pregnancy. He sent twice a day to ask for her, 
to be sure, but "if he were moved and came him- 
self to ask about her, she did not presume to see 
him."*'* I have known American husbands who 
during this time were loath to accompany their 
wives in public places, and if they went out walk- 
ing with them at all, preferred to go after dark. 

A pregnant woman has not only to think of 
herself and her family, it behooves her to be very 
conscientious in her relations to society at large. 
She can do so much harm if she is not careful. 
Among the Mosquito Indians, should she enter the 
hut in which an ill man is sometimes segregated, 
he would never recover. * ^ In Guiana if she eats 
game caught by hounds, they will never be able 
to hunt again. On the Amazon if she partakes of 
meat eaten by a domestic animal or by a man, 
the animal will die and the man will never be 
able to shoot that kind of game again. * ^ Among 
the Yakuts she causes the bullets of the hunter 
to miss fire and the skill of the artisan to de- 
teriorate.*' German peasants believe that were 
she to pass through field or garden bed, nothing 
would grow in them for several years, or their 
products would spoil. Were she to enter a 
brewery, the beer would turn; a wine-cellar, the 

82 XKe Old-FasKioned "Woman 

wine would sour; a bakery, the bread would 

Considering the dangers she is herself subject 
to and to which she subjects others, a pregnant 
woman is naturally more or less secluded. Among 
the Atjehs, should she have a visitor, she must 
take the precaution of not receiving him at once — 
to mislead the malicious spirits likely to have fol- 
lowed him into the house. Among the Gipsies 
it is not visitors, but moonlight, to which she 
must not be exposed. The Jewess of Bosnia or of 
Herzegovina never goes out alone at night. In 
the islands of the Malay Archipelago, a pregnant 
woman does not go out at night at all, or, in 
Celebes, in the rain. The Yakuts do not allow 
her to eat at the table with others. Among the 
South Slavs, she may not attend public dances, 
and among the Pshaves she is excluded from 
all kinds of festivities. When a pregnant Wan- 
derobbo woman goes visiting, she streaks her 
forehead with white clay. Out of doors the Jekri 
woman warns people off with a bell. In Central 
Africa, during her pregnancy a woman stays con- 
stantly indoors. Among some of the tribes of the 
West Coast, on the other hand, during the last 
three weeks of her pregnancy, she has to leave the 
village and live entirely by herself. ' ' 

Pregnancy Taboos 83 

My grandmother tells me that in her day* 
women not uncommonly attempted to conceal 
their condition by lacing, and that in the latter part 
of pregnancy they rarely left the house, except 
perhaps for a short walk in the evening. Now- 
adays, fortunately, women are able to wear, if they 
wish, a disguise of loose instead of tight clothes, 
and they seem to take more exercise and to be 
more out of doors, but they are still apt not to re- 
ceive guests or to "go into society." Their pre- 
sence is supposed to be embarrassing to boys and 
girls and they are therefore expected to keep 
away from "young" parties. But there are many 
circles in this country in which they would also 
cause discomfiture to persons of any age. A 
woman whose husband had been in our diplomatic 
service in Europe once told me that having been 
in the habit abroad of dining out as long as she 
felt well, on her return to Washington she accepted 
a dinner invitation "without thinking." The 
result was so embarrassing to the other guests 
and consequently to herself that she dined there- 
after at home. On a recent canoe trip on the 
upper Connecticut we stopped one mid-day at a 
farmhouse to buy eggs. All our overtures had to 

* And before. "Many Gentlewomen — all the time of their 
going with child — wear long bellied, and strait laced garments." 
{Decency in Conversation amongst Women, p. 86.) 

84 TKe Old-FasHionecl AJV^oman 

be carried on through a crack in the door, for, 
until the men in our party sauntered away, the 
mother of the six children playing around us and 
of an expected seventh was averse to meeting us. 


pERHAPS one of the chief functions of the 
* novelist is to make famiHarities compel at- 
tention, so to polish up the dulled or tarnished, 
either by use or disuse, that it catches the high- 
lights again. He may do this even for the institu- 
tions of the past, reviving some ancient habit or 
theory by putting it into a new setting, and so 
making it appear personal and incidental, a mere 
chance. We have a recent instance of this kind of 
ethnological plagiarism.* The scene is modem 
Rome; the subject juridical parenthood. It is an 
ancient theme treated in a modem — or perhaps 
gwa^^'-modem manner. And it does succeed in 
raising questions. 

Wherever progeny are of economic value, to 
either the living or the dead, barrenness is more or 
less of a curse. There are innumerable ways of 
" Cluing" it — by all kinds of concoctions of food 
and drink, by ointments and baths, by the wearing 

* Hichens, Robert. The Fruitful Vine. New York, 191 1. 

86 XKe Old-FasKioned "Woman 

or carrying of amulets or charms, by pilgrimage, 
prayer, and sacrifice. Among the South Slavs a 
childless woman will eat the grass and carry about 
in her belt earth from the grave of a woman dying 
in pregnancy, ^ A Chinaman will entice the spirit 
of a son to be bom into the family by adopting 
a little girl as a bride for him.' Roman matrons 
were switched naked in the streets with thongs of 
goat hide.^ The Hebrews promised their first- 
born to Jahveh, and in the case at least of Hannah 
and of Anna we know that the bribe was accept- 
able. In Tibet, in India, and on the West Coast 
of Africa, the gods are still open to the same 

The gods' representatives also work phallic 
miracles. Their passes, potions, and spells have 
been held again and again to be effective. A 
Thompson River shaman has only to paint on 
a woman's face a pattern he has seen in a dream 
and make her promise to name the child to his 
fancy." We recall the phallic achievements of 
the Hindu yogi, the Australian medicine-man, and 
the Hebrew prophet. Jerome tells us how a 
certain woman of Eleutheropolis who was de- 
spised by her husband pursued St. Hilarion into 
his wilderness and teased him into praying for a 
son for her. ^ As a rule, Christianity ran down the 

Unfi-uitfxil 87 

value of offspring, but the crowned heads of Europe, 
conservatives as they are, still have prayers offered 
up for heirs to their thrones. In the United States 
"quacks" advertise cures for barrenness in the 

Supernatural devices failing, a practical way 
out was sometimes found for the childless woman. 
The child of another might be mothered on her. 
We remember, for example, how maternity was im- 
puted to Rachel and to Leah. So too a Babylon- 
ian woman could give her husband a handmaid 
to keep him from taking a concubine, ^ — in Baby- 
lonian eyes a distinction with a difference. Juri- 
dical parenthood was far more commonly imputed, 
however, to men than to women. But through 
juridical fatherhood the barren wife might also 
profit. A kinsman or priest took the husband's 
place. "On failure of issue, a woman who has 
been authorised may obtain the desired offspring 
by a brother-in-law or sapinda,'' writes Manu' 
of the niyoga, as this old and orthodox Brahmanic 
custom is called. Brahmanic sectaries, Sakti-wor- 
shippers, sent their barren wives to saintly men 
for impregnation.^ Eskimo husbands pay their 
angekok for the same purpose. ' 

In the proprietary family, the family type in 
which offspring are at a premium, parenthood 

88 TKe Old-FasKionecl "Woman 

sometimes precludes divorce and barrenness is 
almost invariably cause for it. A childless Basuto 
woman takes her divorce for granted.*" So does 
a Baganda woman — if only because she prevents 
her husband's garden from bearing fruit." An 
Aztec could divorce his head wife if she was spite- 
ful, dirty, or barren. * ^ One of the first recorded 
divorces* in Rome was for barrenness. Divorce 
costs a Chinaman eighty blows unless his wife 
is lascivious, inattentive to his parents, thievish, 
ill-tempered, infirm, a chatterbox, or barren.*^ 
A barren Hindu wife could be superseded in 
the eighth year;' one whose children all died, in 
the tenth; one who bore only daughters, in the 
eleventh. Should a Hindu husband "show love" 
to a childless wife or the mother of daughters only, 
he himself became "censurable."''' 

In these cases it is, we notice, the husband who 
gets the divorce. In the unmodified proprietary 
family, divorce is a male prerogative. More- 
over, the view that failure of issue is not always the 
fault of the woman is comparatively modem. 

Nowadays, whether husband or wife be responsi- 
ble, childlessness may still be a cause of polygyny — 
or polyandry — but, outside of Napoleonic minds, it 
is not a cause for divorce, nor, despite White House 

* By Carvilius Ruga. 

Unfruitfxil 89 

or pulpit endeavour to revive an archaic point 
of view, does any social stigma attach to it. The 
reason is plain. Children are no longer economic 
assets, either in this world or the next, to their 
parents. In fact, from a utilitarian standpoint 
they are too costly to be desirable at all by the 
individual, and that they have value from other 
individualistic points of view is a comparatively 
new idea. 

The idea of their value to the community is 
much older ; but the modem state has as yet acted 
up to this idea but faint-heartedly. It has only 
begun to take care of its existent "future citizen " ; 
to his production it gives little or no encourage- 
ment. In a few European states a maternity 
insurance fimd has been established, and there are 
laws against women working before and after 
childbirth, measures our pioneer government, in 
its concern over yoimg industries and its bonuses 
to farmer and banker and shipbuilder, has not 
foimd time to consider. Some day it will be free 
of course to turn its attention to more modem 
matters. Meanwhile, is it asking too much to 
suggest that the rational regulation of child-bear- 
ing be no longer accounted a crime, and that society 
at large welcome the women engaged in "doing 
their duty" by it — instead of ostracising them? 

90 XKe Old-FasHioned Woman 

As soon as society does become more convincing 
on the subject of "race-suicide," and as soon as 
the effects upon personaHty of having children 
are more clearly appreciated, it is likely that new 
race-suicide questions will arise, questions which 
hitherto have not even been suggested, the general 
topic being monopolised as yet by scatterbrains 
or fossils. 

Even now there are many women and some men, 
married and unmarried, who long beyond and 
without words for children. Their craving is 
sometimes a veritable obsession. As their number 
increases and they become aware of it, taking 
courage from their solidarity, they may rebel 
against those conventions and traditions which 
thwart the satisfaction of their paramount de- 
sire. Will they, like Dolores Cannynge, return 
to the institutions of an earlier culture, or, aided 
by the modem science of eugenics, will they work 
out some new solution? 



'T'O many high enterprises, to war, to the chase, 
^ to prayer to the gods, women are often held 
to be a handicap; but during their character- 
istic physiological processes, when they are most 
women, they are at all times a very menace. 
Should a Mabuiag Island father see his daughter 
at nubility he knows he would soon come to grief ; 
his canoe would probably be smashed up within a 
few days. * If a Unalit Eskimo approaches a girl at 
this time, he becomes visible, he thinks, to every 
animal he himts. ' In Costa Rica a woman preg- 
nant for the first time so infects the neighbour- 
hood that every death is attributed to her.^ A 
Basuto who sees his wife after her delivery and 
before her "purification" feels siu-e to die* 

But it is during menstruation that a woman is 
most generally considered dangerous. In Western 
Victoria any one touching food touched by her 
at this time becomes ' ' weak. ' ' Once a Blackf ellow, 


92 XHe Old-KasKioned W^oman 

enraged at his wife for lying unseasonably on 
his blanket, killed her, and then died himself of 
terror within a fortnight. ^ The Bushmen think 
that at a glance from a menstruous woman a 
man becomes at once transfixed and turned into 
a tree which talks/ If a Quayquirie Indian of 
the Orinoco treads upon the place where she has 
passed, his legs immediately swell up. ' An Indian 
school-teacher tells me that once one of her Sioux 
pupils developed a tumour on the neck, and that 
his father took him out of school on the theory that 
the tumour was caused by contact with teachers 
who observed no monthly taboos. If a Pueblo 
Indian touches a menstruous woman, or, if a 
Chippeway uses her fire, he is bound to fall ill. 
The lips of any Omaha who ate with her would 
dry up and his blood turn black. ^ A Thompson 
River Indian would be attacked fiercely by bears. ' 
Manu declares that the wisdom, energy, strength, 
sight, and vitality of a man who approaches a 
menstruous woman " utterly perish, " whereas if 
he avoids one, these powers increase unto him.*" 
According to the Talmud, if a woman at the 
beginning of her period passes between two men, 
she kills one of them; if towards the end of it, 
she only throws them into a violent quarrel. ' * 
Under these circumstances quarantine is but a 

In Quarantine 93 

proper precaution; and it is in fact almost uni- 
versally observed, more or less. At this time 
Australian women may not walk on any path 
frequented, or touch anything used, by men.'* 
A Persian woman could not talk to any man. 
A Dravidian Bhuiyar woman has to use a special 
entrance, and she has to creep through this on her 
hands and knees to avoid touching the house 
thatch. ' ^ The Kharwars keep their women in the 
outer verandah of the house for eight days, and 
will not let them enter the kitchen or the cow- 
house.^'' A Sioux Indian agent tells me that 
once a month she had temporarily to release the 
Indian women prisoners, so great was the men's 
objection to staying in prison with them at that 
time. A Vedah woman of Travancore is secluded 
for five days in a hut, a quarter of a mile away. ' ^ 
A Tshi woman has to leave her village altogether. ' ^ 
In fact, a special district or hut or room is almost 
everywhere set aside for women at this time. 
Even in her seclusion hut a Kolosh woman has to 
wear a hat, that she "may not defile heaven with a 
look. '"7 

Besides seclusion all kinds of monthly taboos 
fall upon women. Thompson River women may 
not make or mend a man's clothes or moccasins. ' ^ 
Anmta women may not gather the Irriakura 

94 TKe Old-FasHioned "Woman 

bulb, a food staple, lest the supply fail.'' Aru 
Island women may not plant, cook, or prepare 
food.""* As in primitive as well as in modem 
theory contagion is held to be very readily con- 
veyed through food, food taboos fall upon menstru- 
ous women in many other places. Among the 
Maoris the taboo against eating anything cooked 
by them is catching; the eater becomes himself 
taboo — "an inch thick." At this time a Chippe- 
way woman may not eat with her husband,^' nor 
a Ewe woman fetch water — an argument to the 
husband for polygyny. ^^ Persian women may 
not touch bread or a vessel of water with their bare 
hands. Their drinking-vessel must be of lead and 
but half -filled. They may not look at fire or at 
the sun, or sit in the sun or in water. ^^ Like the 
Persian, the Hindu woman had to be particular 
about her drinking-water. She had to drink it 
out of a large copper vessel or out of her joined 
hands. Moreover, she was not to eat meat, not 
to apply collyrium to her eyes, not to anoint her- 
self, not to bathe in water, not to sleep in the 
daytime, not to touch fire, not to clean her teeth, 
not to do housework, not to run, not to look at the 
planets, not to smile. ""^ 

Roman women must have been almost as much 
restricted as Hindus if they scrupled about the 

In Qviarantine 93 

damage they might cause. PHny says that rue 
and ivy, standing com, grasses and yoimg vines 
wilt away at their touch. Buds wither as they 
pass them by. The fruit-tree they sit under lets 
drop its fruit. The mirror which reflects them 
becomes dim. In their vicinity, wine sours, ivory 
loses its color, and tools, their edge. Metals 
rust and bees die in their hives. ^^ The European 
peasant to-day believes that if a woman at this 
time enters a brewery the beer will turn sour; if 
she touches beer, wine, vinegar, or milk, it will go 
bad; if she makes jam, it will not keep; if she 
climbs a cherry tree, it will die; if she mounts a 
mare, it will miscarry; if she enters a boat, a storm 
will brew. ^*^ 

In many cases neither taboo nor damage is left 
to inference. An Australian woman may not eat 
fish or approach water lest the fish be frightened 
away or die, or the water dry up. Galela women 
may not walk over a tobacco field or Minang- 
kabau women a rice field, lest the crop fail. In 
South Africa, women at this time may not drink 
milk, lest the cattle die. An Omaha woman may 
not approach a horse for fear of causing it harm. 
Should a Thompson River woman smoke out of 
another person's pipe, it would from then on 
be hot to smoke. Chippeway women may not 

96 THe Old-FasKioned Woman 

walk on the ice of rivers or lakes or near where 
beaver are being hunted or a fishing-net is set 
for fear of spoiling the hunt or catch. Similarly, 
Lapp women are forbidden to walk on the shore 
where fishermen set out their nets. ^^ 

During the catamenia, women seem to be parti- 
cularly repugnant to the gods and their repre- 
sentatives. Among the Tshis, they may not touch 
anything in a house sheltering a boshum or 
god.^^ Among the Ewes, they may not visit a 
priest.^' Among the Niger Coast tribes, they 
may not take the regular path past ajuju house. ^" 
Once the sacred king of Ashanti was met on his. 
return from a journey by some of his over-im- 
petuous wives. Hearing of their condition, he 
fell into a rage and had them cut to pieces. ^^ 
Angoy natives believe they were formerly ruled 
over by queens, but that once the reigning queen 
was prevented by her monthly "purification" 
from conducting an important religious ceremony, 
and so the sovereignty passed on to her son, ^^ — an 
explanation of an African Salic law which is also 
offered in civilisation by opponents to office- 
holding by women. The assistant of the Toda 
dairyman priest may not pass a village where 
there is a woman in the seclusion hut, on pain 
of demotion. 3 3 The Veda student may not go 

In Quarantine 97 

directly from a menstruous woman to his sacred 
book. He must in between, see a Brahman. •''» 
The Jewish woman might not herself handle a 
holy book. Nor might she name her god. ^s The 
Persian woman might not look at a Minddshii, a 
celestial man;^^ the Hindu woman might not even 
think of the gods. ^7 Menstruous women may 
not enter a dwelling where there is anything sacred 
or a church — among the Tshis, the Cheyennes, and 
the Nicaraguans, among the Jews, the Shintoists, 
and the early Christians.^* 

Latter-day Christians have kept up the "church- 
ing" of women after childbirth — a disinfection 
rite, but because of their " uncleanness " they no 
longer keep women away from church at other 

There are other places in civilisation from which, 
however, they are banished. In the great sugar 
refineries in the north of France, women are for- 
bidden to enter the factory while the sugar is 
boiling or cooling, because the presence of a men- 
struous woman wotdd blacken the sugar. Nor 
is any woman employed in opium manufacture 
at the French colony of Saigon lest, for the same 
reason, the opium should ttun bitter. It is said 
in England that meat cured by a menstruous 
woman is tainted, but whether or not this belief 


98 XHe Old-FasKioned W^oman 

affects the wage-earning woman as well as the 
housewife, I do not know. ^^ Once, if we may 
surmise from an old couplet, her pernicious in- 
fluence must have spread beyond meat. 

"Oh! menstruating woman thou 'rt a fiend* 
From whom all nature should be closely screened."'*** 

In spite of these beliefs, unlike the Australian 
woman who has not only to leave camp, but to 
encircle her mouth with red ochre and to warn 
off any young man who comes near her, '•^ unlike 
the negress of Surinam who has to call out "Mi 
Kay! Mi KayV\ " I am unclean! I am unclean!" 
to any one approaching her, '' ^ a modern woman is 
supposed not to keep to herself if she thereby betrays 
her condition. She must be altogether secretive, 
and the better to deceive she must act normally 
in every way. To this end a girl will often endure 
extraordinary discomfort or pain or run grave 
risks of health. Again and again one hears a 
girl say, "I would rather die than let any one 
know about it, " and, realising that there are even 
mothers who will not mention the subject to a 
daughter, "i 3 one almost believes the girl. 

If she is loath after all to sacrifice either life or 

* The function was itself personified as a fiend by the Persians. 
{Sacred Books of the East, v, 283.) 

In Quarantine 99 

health, she will jeopardise her reputation. Evas- 
ive or prevaricating on one point, she spreads the 
impression of being generally unreliable and un- 
accountably fickle, of being even more uncertain 
and changeable than she is — thanks perhaps to 
the very periodicity she is at such pains to conceal. 
"You never can depend upon a girl," grumbles 
the boy who twenty years later will be saying 
"souvent femme varie," — with or without bitter- 
ness according to his fortune or his temper, but 
still in the dark and still disconcerted. 

Australians believe that the catamenia comes 
from dreaming of a scratching bandicoot. When a 
Chiriguana girl first menstruates, old women run 
about her hut with sticks, "striking at the snake 
which has wounded her. "44 Because Ma'nabush, 
the culture hero of the Menomini Indians, killed 
the Bear and threw a clot of his blood at his grand- 
mother, the Bear's wife, "the aunts of Ma'nabiish" 
"have trouble every moon. ""s Once the god 
Indra slew a learned Brahman and then ran to the 
women for protection. Because they took upon 
themselves a third part of his guilt, he guaranteed 
them offspring and their husband's affection. 
Evidence of their part of the bargain appears each 
month. 46 Sincere "believers in" Genesis are apt 
to hold that the catamenia are part of the curse 

lOO THe Old-FasKionecl "Woman 

laid upon Eve, women's practical way of making 
reparation for the Original Sin. In Siam, the 
"wound" is believed to be made by certain spirits 
of the air. "7 In the Western Islands of Torres 
Straits, it is the Moon-man who is held responsible, 
and for his sake earthly men keep out of the way. ''* 
We no longer have to consider the feelings of 
animals or spirits in this connection. Our re- 
lations with them are not as close as they once were. 
As for our own feelings about menstruation, they 
are apparently so deep-seated that we have not 
even begun to explain them or to explain away or 
justify the misunderstandings they provoke. 



A WIDOW has always been reputed dangerous 
company— if by different persons for differ- 
ent reasons. When she is stiU thought of as the 
property of the deceased, marriage with her before 
his claim is cancelled is naturally imprudent. 
At Agweh on the Gold Coast her foolhardy suitor 
is doomed to miscarry in all his undertakings, 
to be drowned or to be killed in battle.^ The 
Kamchadale suitor of a widow runs the risk of 
dying the same death as her husband. ^ A Bantu 
Yao or a Lillooet Indian also marries a widow at 
the peril of his life. 3 Once a Hudson Bay Eskimo 
fell very ill soon after his marriage to a widow, and 
the shaman declared that because of the jealousy 
of the marital ghost divorce was necessary to 
convalescence, 4 an instance of ecclesiastical inter- 
ference between husband and wife unusual among 
savages. In 1881 the deceased paramount chief 


102 THe Old-FasHionedi "Woman 

of the Duke of York Island effected a separation 
between his widows and the brother who had 
appropriated them, by inflicting the inconsiderate 
man with a very bad cold. ^ In the Chinese pro- 
vince of Fuhkein, the marital ghost gets the 
second husband's clan, as well as the man himself, 
into trouble.^ 

A widow has to be careful on her own account 
too. In Australia if an Unmatjera or a Kaitish 
widow does not smear herself properiy with her 
mourning ashes, the conjugal ghost will kill her 
and strip her to the bones. ^ In the Islands of 
Torres Straits an aggrieved marital ghost is said to 
have once burned down the house of his frivolous 
widow. ^ The Matse, a Ewe tribe, believe that 
if a widow is negligent, Aho, the Spirit of Mourn- 
ing,* will waste her away.^* A deceased Ama- 
Zulu husband can force his widow, pregnant by 
another, to miscarry. Ama-Zulu ghosts have also 
been known to harass their faithless widows into 

* Individual Matse ghosts appear to act through a representa- 
tive spirit. A like delegation of functions took place in Christen- 
dom. "When God takes away the mate of your Bosome, and re- 
duces you to Solitariness," writes the author of The Whole Duty 
of a Woman, when he addresses himself to widows, "he sounds you 
a Retreat from the Gaycties and lighter jollities of the World, 
that with your closer Mourning, you may put on a more retired 
Temper of Mind, a stricter and soberer Behaviour, not to be 
cast off with your Vail, but to be the constant Adornment of 
your Widowhood." (p. 93). 

^?S^iclo"ws 103 

leaving a second husband and returning to the 
dead man's village.'" Fearful of her dead hus- 
band's opinion of her, Barbara Pomfret of Vir- 
ginia broke off her engagement and restored her 
wedding-ring to her finger.* A Yao husband can 
frighten his widow as much as he likes — by appear- 
ing to her as a serpent. " The illness of a widow- 
bride in certain Hindu castes is supposed to be 
caused by her first husband.'^ 

The living as well as the dead require a widow to 
be conscientious. Wherever sutteeism brings dis- 
tinction to a family, many a widow has undoubtedly 
chosen suicide as an alternative to the opprobrium 
of kindred. Kindred may be very high-handed 
in other ways too. If a brother-in-law met an 
Arunta widow out in the bush acting as if 
nothing had happened, hunting for" yams, "for ex- 
ample, he would be quite justified in spearing her. '^ 
Once an unscrupulous Californian Nishinam widow 
went out to gather clover before it was proper, 
and her brother-in-law, urged on by her father-in- 
law, killed her. '4 With us, aggrieved or reproach- 
ful relatives are not so drastic or compeUing, 
but I have known a mother-in-law complain of 
her widowed daughter-in-law having color in her 
dressing-gown, and one suspects that a widow's 

* Rives, Amelie. The Quick or the Dead? 

104 THe Old-FasHioned Woman. 

qualms over remarriage may sometimes be intensi- 
fied by a watchful family-in-law. 

In view of all this supervision, it behooves widows 
to mourn circumspectly and convincingly. And 
as a rule they do. Australian widows crop or 
bum their hair close to their head. ' ^ When Lord 
Roehampton died, Myra cut off her long chestnut 
locks and tied them around his neck in his coffin.* 
In India the vernacular for widow is shorn head, ^ ^ 
and in many another place widows have to shave 
their hair. Often, however, they may neither 
cut nor comb it. Washing, too, is quite generally 
taboo. For eight months or a year the Malagasy 
widow might wash only the tips of her fingers. 
The Bantu Fjort and the pre-Moslem Arab 
widow went quite unwashed for one year. * ^ Caffre 
widows have been known to do so for three. '^ 
Niger Delta widows deliberately soil their faces, * ' 
and mud or ashes or coal are rubbed on the head 
or body in many places. In California, the Maidu 
widow covered herself with fine pitch and char- 
coal; the Yokaia widow mixed her pitch with 
marital ashes. ^"^ Bangala and New Guinea wid- 
ows go naked, the better to bemud themselves," 
but as a rule clothes are torn or soiled, or only rag- 
ged or old or plain clothes are worn. Ornaments 

* Disraeli, Endymion, Ch. Ixxxv. 

"Wido-ws 105 

are put away. Hindu widows may not paint their 
foreheads. ^^ I have never heard of a European 
or American with the habit of rouging when 
married, giving it up when widowed; but their 
jewelry they do lay aside. Pearls are excepted; 
in fact, black pearls are considered particularly 
suitable. So is jet. All their outer garments are 
black. — Greek and Roman widows also wore 
black. — Crape is the only appropriate trimming, 
and a long crape veil attached to a small fiat 
bonnet and falling over the face when the death 
is recent, thrown back when it is not, is customary. 
Australian and New Guinea widows also go 
veiled, and Peruvian widows wore a rope of sedge 
around their heads. * ^ The Australian widow's veil 
is more correctly speaking a chaplet. It is made 
up of small bones, hair, and feathers hanging over 
the face. What civilised widows do with their dis- 
carded veils, I do not know. Australian widows 
bury theirs in the grave. At the same time they 
rub off the pipe clay which has been smeared on 
their hair, face, and breast, leaving only a narrow 
white band on the forehead. But such half 
mourning is optional.^" Sometimes in Victoria, 
when a widow is going out of mourning, she paints 
two stripes, first of pale brown and later of red, 
across her nose and under her eyes.^s 

io6 TKe Old-FasKioned AVoman 

In the Islands of Torres Straits, widows wear 
frayed sago-palm leaf petticoats and necklaces, 
armlets and leglets. ^^ In San Cristoval, one of the 
Solomon Islands, they wear large tassels of grey 
shell ear-rings. In the Banks' Islands they wear 
a rope around their neck. ^ ^ In Borneo a special 
net garment has to be worn until it wears out and 
fallsoff by itself. ^^ 

But even greater evidences of grief than ' ' weeds ' * 
are required of widows. Sioux widows cut off 
a finger joint to hang on the grave tree," and 
scarification is a common practice. Fasting and 
seclusion are still commoner. Tshi widows are 
shut up to sit on the floor in a conventional posture 
and to fast for eight days. ^° A Ewe widow is 
supposed to stay housed for forty days. Having 
to go out of doors, she must hang her head, cast 
down her eyes, and cross her arms over her breast. ^ ^ 
Until the annual death feast a Maidu widow can 
go out only after dark. -J' A Pima widow has to 
stay home for four years. •'' Toda widows neither 
eat rice nor drink milk. On the day of the week 
their husband died, only one meal is eaten. ^< 
Hindu widows never eat more than one meal a 
day, and twice a month they forego it. '^ 

Levity on the part of a Quakeolth Indian widow 
would render her an outcast forever. ^^ The 

Widows 107 

presence of a Hindu widow at any festivity would 
be ill-omened. 3^ The home-staying Malagasy 
widow may not speak to any one coming into the 
house. ^^ A Nishinam widow speaks only in a 
whisper, 3' a Central Australian does not speak 
at all.''" Civilised widows are also supposed to 
be grave and unsociable. Their black-bordered 
cards and writing paper preclude their being 
invited to festivities — "black" is a "great pro- 
tection," I have often heard them say, — and they 
are apt to keep away from playhouses and places 
of public amusement — at least until they have 
discarded their crape veil. Laughter behind it 
would appear indecorous, and to wear it at a 
wedding would doubtless be considered in poor 
taste. A widow recently told me that she was 
unable to march in a suffrage parade because of 
her mourning. 

Mourning doubtless precludes widows every- 
where from engagements it would not be easy 
to enumerate unless one had oneself been a 
widow. Sheer idleness may even be expected 
of widows, but as a rule they are supposed to 
work for, or be of some service to, the dead. 
The Victorian widow visits the grave daily before 
sunrise. She sweeps the ground and builds up 
the fire lit for the comfort of the ghost. *^ Among 

io8 THe Old-FasHioned "Woman 

the Wataveta it is the duty of the eldest widow 
to guard the grave from stray hyenas. She lives 
near by.''^ Periodic visits to the grave or settle- 
ment upon it or near by are very commonly ex- 
pected of the widow. She has to keep it in good 
repair, and make it look attractive. The chief 
widow of the king of Tonga and her women cut 
the grass from his grave, swept away the leaves, and 
made a garden of sweet-scented plants for him.''^ 
A certain Chinese widow is recorded as having 
planted several hundred grave trees* with her own 
hands. ''< The Tolkotin widow had to weed out 
the marital grave with her bare fingers. '•s Civil- 
ised widows also feel responsible for the care of 
the grave and visit it sporadically or on anniver- 
saries. They plant flowers or leave cut flowers on 
it. At home they frequently place flowers around 
the picture of the deceased. The other day one 
read of an American widow scattering flowers on 
the sea where her husband had been shipwrecked. 
Christian widows have to be content with these 
flower rites, for Christianity, like the other his- 
torical religions, is antagonistic to the older ghost 
cults. Where a maturer religion does not inter- 

* Widowed, Diane de Poitiers displayed as her device an ever- 
green tree springing from a tomb, with the words: " Left alone 
she lives in him." (de Maulde la Claviere, R. The Women of 
the Renaissance, p. 131. London and New York, 1901.) 

"Wido'ws 109 

vene, however, grave rites tend to be more elabor- 
ate. Food and drink are set out on the grave for 
the ghost and ceremonial wailing is carried on 
there for his satisfaction. Memorial death feasts 
are also held in his honour ; at them as well as at 
the funeral a greater or less amount of the property 
of the deceased or of his family is either set aside 
for his ghost or destroyed. Under the historical 
religions the only equivalent satisfactions for 
widows are the burning of candles or the saying of 
masses, pilgrimages or prayers, commemorative 
tablets or buildings or endowments. 

There are still more intimate ways of remem- 
bering the deceased. A New Zealand widow had 
his head dried and always slept with it by her 
side. ^^ Quakeolth and TacuUi widows carry 
his ashes on their persons. ^ 7 Mosquito Coast 
widows exhume his year-old corpse and carry his 
bones. ■** The Victorian widow hangs a bag of 
his calcined bones around her neck.'''* His dried 
soles and palms and tongue make a necklace for 
the Torres Straits widow ; his lower jaw-bones for 
the New Guinean.s" One occasionally hears of a 
widow in civilisation who cherishes the ashes of a 
cremated husband, or keeps his embalmed corpse 
close at hand, but carrying a piece of his hair 
in a locket or wearing a miniature of him on a 

no The Old-FasKioned Woman 

medallion brooch is a much more common practice. 
Often she has his picture painted or his bust 

When the deceased wants to communicate with 
the living, his widow is naturally his medium. 
Once a Fiji chieftainess, mistress of a deceased 
king, reported that during her nightly vigil he 
would appear to her in a dream to warn her against 
conspiracy against his heir and to encourage her 
to go on caring for his grave, s' The head wife 
of Bambarre, a deceased king of Urua, Central 
Africa, enjoyed unbroken communications with 
her husband. On all important occasions Bam- 
barre's reigning son sent one of his priests to her 
for advice, s^ Until our psychical research socie- 
ties do more for us, our widows will be restricted 
to writing the biography or editing the letters or 
manuscripts of the deceased. Lady Burton, we 
remember, declined even that responsibility. 

Widows' rites always last until all fear of ghostly 
infection is past. In primitive thought ghosts are 
believed to linger for quite a while about their 
old haunts. During this time they want much 
the same care and attention they had in life. 
Their interests too are much the same, and their 
conjugal relations are likely to be just as close. 
They have been known to beget offspring, and 

Wido-ws 1 1 1 

women who do not want posthumous child- 
ren sometimes take special precautions. Such 
ghostly importimity does not subside of itself. 
At a proper time notice has almost always to be 
given the ghost to begone. His widow is then 
carefully disinfected or purified. In Australia on 
the Narran, she has to sleep three nights beside 
a smouldering fire. She is then plunged into the 
stream and smoked again over the fire, s 3 The 
Tshi widow is marched to the seashore and all 
her clothes thrown into the water. Formerly 
she was herself submerged. Now her escorts 
only cry out to the ghost to leave her. s 4 Matamba 
widows are ducked repeatedly in order to drown 
off clinging marital ghosts, ss 

We do not believe to any extent in ghost-walk- 
ing, so that ghostly exorcisms are no longer neces- 
sary, and widows do not undergo purification. 
Nevertheless, mourning is still prescribed for 
them for a minimum period. Should one remarry 
within it, it is I think two years, she would quite 
generally be condemned as lacking in proper 
respect for the dead or even as heartless or 

All the foregoing widow rites or taboos are more 
or less characteristic of every type of family. 
The developed patriarchal type is distinguished 

112 XKe Old-FasHioned "Woman 

by the suicide or lifelong sequestration of widows 
of position. Evidence of a man's wealth or rank 
during his lifetime, his widow is expected to add 
to his comfort or prestige in ghost-land. Recalci- 
trant widows are badly off. They are berated 
and abused and sometimes ostracised. Remarry- 
ing, their bride-price has to be returned to the 
family of the deceased by their family or by their 
second husband. They commonly have to forfeit 
their own dower rights. 

In societies where the patriarchate is either 
undeveloped or, like our own, degenerate, a widow 
may also have to choose between matrimonial 
property and remarriage. In our case the marital 
motive in pre-arranging these alternatives for her 
is not quite clear. As there is no marriage in 
heaven, her husband cannot have been intriguing 
for a future meeting. Tertullian made this plain 
once for all. "Think not that it is to preserve thy 
body untouched for myself," he writes forehand- 
edly to his wife, "that I am even now instilling 
the advice to remain a widow, suspicious because 
of the pain of being slighted. No debasing pleas- 
ure shall then be resumed between us. For 
God promiseth not to his people things so vain, 
so impure, "s^ Nor does either Tertullian or any 
other Christian husband ever count upon such 

"Wido-ws 113 

immediate intimacy with his surviving widow as 
the primitive marital ghost enjoyed. 

Without any present or future claim upon the 
person of a widow, why then have Tertulhan 
and other husbands wished to make digamy 
difficult for her? The Manichean suggests that 
it is because her deceased husband should con- 
tinue in possession of her mind, entitled to her 
unceasing devotion. Is it to ensure such devotion, 
or, as I once heard an American husband suggest, 
to "protect" his Penelope against fortune-hunting, 
that a modem husband wills his property away 
from her if she remarry? 


A man's man 

nPHE time seems to come for every boy when he 
■■■ is told directly or indirectly that he must 
stop playing with girls or hanging to his mother's 
apron strings. In Australia a boy gets his notice 
ceremonially. In one tribe he is sent by his 
mother into the circle of the men who are dancing 
before them. In another, he and his mother 
sprinkle each other with water, and in another 
he throws his boomerang towards her spirit camp, '^ 
in both cases to show her that, no longer man- 
ageable, "it is time for his father to take him in 
hand."* An Arunta boy of ten or twelve is 
warned by his tribal elders to no longer play or 
camp with the women or girls. ^ If the tooth of a 
Kurnai initiate is not readily dislodged in the 
tooth knocking-out ceremony, its owner is said 
to have been too much with women and girls, ^ 

* An undertaking shared in Australia, however, by all the older 


A. Man's Man 115 

just as we explain a youth's "freshness " or "effem- 
inacy" by saying that he was "brought up at 
home" or that he was "a mother's dariing, " a 
"mollycoddle, " or a "milksop. " 

Attached as he may be to his mother and sisters, 
the time also comes for a boy when expression of 
his affection is bad form. Precautions against 
showing it are sometimes elaborate. "Civilised" 
boys will take no little trouble to preclude a 
maternal kiss— at least in pubHc, but often the 
savage boy may not even speak to or look at his 
mother. He turns his back, ceremonially, when 
she approaches; he must communicate with her 
through a third person. With his sisters he is 
"shy" too. Fiji brothers and sisters may not 
even speak to each other. The very name of 
their relation is ngane, ' ' one who shuns the other. ' ' ^ 
In Leper's Island and Pentecost, if they recognise 
each other's footprints in the sand, they must turn 
off the track. Should the two meet on a path, 
the girl runs away or hides, s A Navaho lad can 
take nothing out of his sister's hand. She has to 
put things on the ground for him to pick them 
up. A Batta would consider it shocking to escort 
his sister to an evening party. In the New 
Hebrides, if he happened on one where she was, 
she kept him at a distance and turned her back 

Ii6 XKe Old-rasKioned "Woman 

on him/ — -eliminating any question of introducing 
partners to her. 

There are special periods when it is particularly- 
offensive or even dangerous for a boy to have 
anything to do with women. Should he eat with 
one during his initiation, a Narrinyeri lad would 
become ugly or grey.^ Should he touch one, a 
Kurnai initiate would fall sick. Were he to let 
a woman make bread for him or her shadow fall 
upon him, he would surely become thin, lazy, and 
dull.* Among the Lower Murray tribes the very 
sight of a woman for three months after the 
initiate's teeth have been knocked out, would 
bring numberless misfortunes upon him — blind- 
ness, the withering up of his limbs, decrepitude 
in general.^ "Boys and girls from the ages of 
fourteen to eighteen should not recite in the same 
class-room, nor meet in the same study hall," 
declared President Porter of Yale. "The 
natural feelings of rightly trained boys and girls 
are offended by social intercourse of the sort, so 
frequent, so free, and so unceremonious."^" 

Such taboos or "ceremonial avoidance," as it 
is called, would of course be difficult to observe 
consistently in the same dwelling, but as a rule 
boys leave home for clubhouse or school. In New 
Caledonia, a boy leaves- his mother when he is 

A Man's Man 117 

three. ' ' The Bassa Komo boys of Nigeria go to 
the men's part of the village at four;'^ the Bororo 
boys of Brazil go to the men's house at five;*^ 
English boys go to a public school when they 
are nine or ten; Americans, to boarding-school 
at thirteen or fourteen. 

Mothers and even sisters visit otir boys' board- 
ing-schools or colleges, sometimes ceremonially, as 
at "Commencement" or for a ball game, some- 
times just to see how Jack or Harry is getting on. 
There is a "ladies' day" in most men's clubs and 
sometimes even a restaurant for ladies. Saloons 
sometimes have back rooms for women. More 
primitive seminaries or clubs are as a rule less 
self-indulgent or less magnanimous. Sometimes a 
savage mother goes on cooking for her son after 
he has left home, but she must put her vessels 
down at his club doorsill, as surreptitiously as 
an American mother smuggles cake or candy to 
her schoolboy. Women may never enter the 
bachelor's hall of the Kaya-Kaya of New Guinea, 
although when they pass near it, the men inside 
make a loud noise to attract their attention."* 
When Fiji boys are initiated, women are admitted, 
to be sure, into the Nanga, but they must look 
discreetly in front of them — on pain of insanity. ^^ 
Should a woman at any time pry into the rotunda 

ii8 XHe Old-FasKioned "Woman 

of the Creeks, she would be killed. ^^ Trespassing 
women are threatened with death by clubmen in 
many other places. 

Sometimes they are merely subject to viola- 
tion. They run this risk in the New Hebrides, 
if they eavesdrop at the singing of the Qatii men 
during an initiation in the secret precincts. ^^ 
With us staring in at a club window or greeting a 
man sitting in one is less rash; it subjects a lady 
only to a disparaging verbal classification. 

Should a woman in East Africa intrude in the 
men's house she is kept there for three years.'* 
It is said in New Mexico that an indiscreet field 
worker of the American Bureau of Ethnology 
was imprisoned three days in the estuva of Isleta, 
at the mercy of its members. 

There are clubs elsewhere in which over-night 
visits by girls are institutionalised; but once 
this form of promiscuity goes out of fashion, 
the " mixed " club becomes unpopular. It seems 
to involve too many restrictions. "I couldn't 
put my feet on the mantelpiece with women 
around," says the New York clubman, ignoring 
the fact that the architecture of most New 
York clubs has made that feat at any rate 
unusual. "Nor could I smoke or sit around," 
he probably adds, again ignoring the fact that 

A Man's Man 119 

he has never been told by an acquaintance 
that she minded his pipe or cigarette, and also 
failing to realise that a place where a woman 
did n't have to constantly say "don't get up" or 
"do sit down" might be a comfort to her. 

Be that as it may, it is important, we cannot 
deny, for a man to feel at ease in his club. He 
spends so much of his time in it, day and night. 
Even married men do not always sleep at home. 
It is very unconventional for a Fiji husband, for 
example, to spend the night outside of his bures 
or public house. ^' New Caledonian and New 
Guinea husbands have private sleeping quarters^" 
and in American cities husbands are in the habit 
of rooming during the summer at their clubs. 
But even when they sleep at home, men make 
their club their headquarters for exercise, for 
drinking and gaming, for the entertainment of 
foreigners, for politics and ritual, for gossip and 
lounging. Englishmen are said to use it to 
sulk in. 

But whether a man goes to his club like an 
Englishman for privacy, or like an American and 
the rest of male kind for sociability, there are 
times when it is no longer alluring, when a "mixed " 
company or a tete-d-tete seems more desirable. 
And yet feminine society is hard to come by, 

120 TKe Old-FasKionecl "Woman 

burdened with conditions and beset with dangers 
as it is. A dinner is "such a lottery"; a dance 
is overpaid for the next day; one's own tastes in 
exercise, in games, in shows, have to be so utterly 
sacrificed. The occasion is flat or the background 
"out." Then one rarely sees a woman unham- 
pered by bores. With a girl, there is the chaperon 
to whom one must be polite; with a married 
woman, there are her husband or children, to 
envy or pity, — both trying emotions. As for 
widows, there is almost always a marital ghost to 
be more or less considered, and it is particularly 
hard to be civil to a ghost. 

On the other hand, freedom from chaperon 
or husband, however pleasant, is full of risk. It 
is trying to be suspected as a potential suitor or 
co-respondent, and before one knows it, one is. 
Lord Ruff ord had only to lend a young lady a horse 
and drive home alone with her in a postchaise, to 
quite involuntarily commit himself.* A Thomp- 
son River Indian who loosens the lacing of a 
maiden's dress or lounges near her is also consid- 
ered to have serious intentions. For him to be 
"touched" by a girl at a dance is just as serious.'^ 
Farther south, in parts of the United States, 
if a man dances with or calls upon a girl more 

* TroUope, Anthony. The A merican Senator, II, Ch. xviii. 

A Man's Man I2i 

than once at one ball or in the same month, he is 
liable to be called very "attentive" or "devoted. " 
In New England, early in the nineteenth century, 
to walk arm in arm was tantamoimt to annoimcing 
an engagement." "If a gentleman looks at you 
at meeting, you are suspected," writes Eliza 
Southgate in 1802, "if he dances with you at the 
assembly it must be true, and if he rides with 
you" — *^ Even now, to walk home from church 
with a girl two or three Sundays or, in more 
fashionable circles, to habitually crank her motor 
for her, arouses expectations in the public mind — 
if not in hers. 

As for a married woman, it is not "proper" 
for a Tartar to shake hands with her, ^'' for a Hindu 
to touch her dress or give her a present or call 
out to her or wink or smile at her, ^^ for a Beni- 
Mzab or a Leti, Moa or Lakor Islander to speak 
to her in the street or away from her husband, ^^ 
for a Ewe to pay her a compliment, ^' for a Gilbert 
Islander to pass her on the road, ^^ for a Calif omian 
Indian to stroll with her in the woods, for a Creek 
to drink out of her pitcher,^' for an Anglo-Saxon 
American to take her to a play or a tropical island. 

Moreover, the consequences of such indiscre- 
tions are apt to be far from pleasant — fines, 
flogging, or horse- whipping, loss of ears or hands 

122 XKe Old-FasKioned Woman 

or penis, branding, exile, being haunted, death, 
braving an "explanation coat, "^^ newspaper 
notoriety. Nor does a gentleman care to subject 
a lady to death or disfigurement, to the loss of 
her ears or of her lips or nose or hair, to beating 
or burning, to ghostly visitations, to ostracism. 
He is also loath to so damage her reputation as 
to disqualify her for marriage, still more perhaps 
to force her into marriage with himself — the com- 
monest way of "saving a woman's character. " 

Evidently caution is necessary — and I have 
seen it exhibited even at the dinner-table. And 
yet dining out is an attempt, however bungling, 
to bring men and women together. It expresses 
a comparatively modem point of view. Unless a 
Uripiv man eats with men only, he must face a mys- 
terious death. ^^ Whatever his reason, you cannot 
make a Warua let a woman see him drink. ^' The 
Hawaiian woman who left her dining-room for 
the men's was killed. ^^ There is in New York 
City a so-called suffragette restaurant in which 
men and women may not eat together — "even 
if they are married, " adds my informant. These 
instances are somewhat extreme, but as a rule 
men and women do not feast together, and it is 
quite often bad form for a man to eat with his 

A. Man's Man 123 

Her companionship is out of the question at 
other times too. A Hindu was not only not to 
eat with his wife, he was not to look at her when 
she ate, or when she sneezed, yawned, or sat at 
her ease.^'' A Calif omian Indian never enters his 
wife's wigwam except in the dark. ^^ ]v^or does 
a Kaffa husband, like many a New Yorker, ever 
see his wife except at night. ^^ Even at night 
the New Yorker may not see his wife except 
in company, and then he is less with her than 
the others. It would be bad form for him to sit 
next to her at the play or talk to her at the opera* 
or dance with her at partiesf or take her out to 

There is a certain valley in Loango husband 
and wife may not cross side by side on pain 
of childlessness. He must take the lead. ^^ In 
Zululand, a man and his wife walk nowhere to- 

* "Avoid conversing in society with the members of your own 
family," urges the author of Sensible Etiquette (p. 402). 

t The author of Sensible Etiquette admits it is " not customary 
for married persons to dance together in society," but she urges 
men "who wish to show their wives the compHment of such an 
unusual attention" to be independent enough to brave Mrs. 
Grundy (p. 219). I had always supposed it was the wife who 
was averse to conjugal companionship in public, discouraging 
such "compliments" from fear of the appearance of having no 
other partners or admirers. 

124 TKe Old-rasKioned "Wcman 

gether even if they are both bound for the same 
place. ^^ Nor does a Moslem ever walk abroad 
for pleasure with his wife. If they are necessarily 
out together, she must keep a long distance behind 
him.^' In the high society of London, Paris, 
or New York, husband and wife have separate 
carriages or motors. In that of China, until 
she was seventy, a wife "did not presume to hang 
up anything on the pegs or stand of her husband; 
nor to put anything in his boxes or satchels; nor 
to share his bathing-house. " -^ " In modem English 
seaside resorts, also, husband and wife may not 
bathe together, and instances are even on record 
of married persons in England who have never 
seen each other clotheless, ''* — a taboo laid formally 
upon the Brahman householder.''^ 
~ Outside of modem civilisation rarely may men 
and women work together, so strict is the distri- 
bution of occupations according to sex, or play 
games or go to the play together. 

They may not even go to church together. 
Should an Australian show his bull-roarer or 
sacred stick to a woman, both he and she would 
be killed by the medicine-man, or he and the 
women of his family would automatically drop 
dead.'*^ Torres Island women are not allowed 
to see the zogo lu, the image of Waiet and his 

A Man's Man 125 

sacred things, and during his month-long cere- 
monial the women are kept apart on the north-west 
side of his island." 4 A Japanese woman was 
exhorted to go "but sparingly" to the temples 
until she was forty, "s Mahomet urged women 
to pray at home, and from Moslem mosques they 
are either wholly excluded or admitted only when 
men are absent. " « In the early Christian churches 
women had a separate door, and inside, a separate 
place. 47 To-day in the Greek churches they 
stand apart from the men in a gallery called the 
gynaikonitis. It is entered by an outside stair- 
case. 48 In New England, as late as 1800, we read 
of a town voting that the second and third pews 
in the women's side of the gallery (the unattached 
women sat in the right-hand gallery, the unat- 
tached men in the left-hand) be allotted to a 
girls' boarding-school and that to these pews the 
school-mistress be allowed to put doors with 
locks. 49 Even in om modern churches men and 
women form separate church societies, and in the 
country the men stay together aroimd the church 
door as long as they can. 

In Nigeria, on the first day of its week, the 
men could not approach the women's quarters 
at all. so At Santa Cruz there is no pushing by 
women in a crowd. When a crowd collects the 

126 XKe Old-KasKioned Woman 

women have to keep together and aloof from the 
centre of attraction. ^^ In 1849 EHzabeth Black- 
well refused to walk with her graduating class at 
the Commencement exercises, being the only wo- 
man, "it wouldn't be ladylike," she demurred. ^^ 
Formerly in Seoul, women were allowed on the 
streets from eight p.m. to three a.m., and a man 
caught out during those hours was severely 
punished. ^^ At Nufilole, one of the Swallow 
Islands, men and women are never out of doors 
together. In the morning the men go out first. 
After their return the women go and fetch water. 
Then the men go out again. ^^ In Manhattan 
Island, where economic exigencies do not allow 
of such a definite alternation in the movements 
of the sexes, park benches, ferry-boats, and cars 
are merely labelled "men" or "women." Men 
are not expected to sit on the women's benches, 
but they may go on the women's side of the ferry- 
boat. Women, on the other hand, may sit on the 
unlabelled benches, but they may not go on the 
men's side of the boat. The sexed cars are of 
too recent a date for the development of an 
etiquette; but I understand that they are counted 
upon to introduce order into the present very 
unsettled ceremonial of giving up seats to women 
in "mixed" cars. 

A Man's Man 127 

Against the vexations such uncertainty in- 
volves the American railway has tried for years 
to protect the public by providing smoking-cars 
for men and differentiated waiting-rooms, — the 
problems of the lower berth it has shirked, to be 
sure, — and American hotels with their "lobbies" 
for men and parlors for "ladies" have made a like 
attempt. Latterly, hotel promoters or managers 
have taken an even more decided stand in sep- 
arating the sexes, setting aside a whole floor for 
women or even running hotels exclusively for one 

We have noted how in times of physiological 
crises the separation of the sexes is also every- 
where very rigid — at puberty, during the catamenia, 
at marriage, diuing pregnancy. It is strict too 
at birth, and even at death. In many communities 
no man is allowed to be near a woman during her 
labour or for set periods after her delivery. In 
serious illness no woman outside of the household 
is allowed near a Cherokee patient, and it is likely 
that formerly he himself was segregated in an out- 
house to preclude contact with any woman. ^^ 
"A man does not expire in the hands of women, 
nor a woman in the hands of men, " ^^ is a Chinese 

Such taboos in conduct or sympathy also in- 

128 XKe Old-FasHioned ^TVoman 

volve taboos of speech. Among the exogamous 
tribes of Victoria, husband and wife may learn 
and understand, but may not speak, each other's 
dialect. 57 For two moons after marriage they 
may not speak to each other at all and if com- 
munication is necessary, it has to be carried 
on through a third person. Among the Wabemba 
a husband has to give a young wife a present 
to imtie her tongue. The observation of her re- 
spectful silence is called kusimbila, the present, 
kusikula.^^ In Madagascar, propriety requires 
women to address men in different terms from 
those they use to one another, s' To deceive 
the men, Bomese women have invented a kind 
of inverted speech for themselves, transposing 
or adding syllables.*^" "As if the two sexes had 
been in a state of war," writes Mistress Carter 
of an eighteenth-century party, "the gentlemen 
ranged themselves on one side of the room, where 
they talked their own talk, and left us poor ladies 
to twirl our shuttles and amuse each other by 
conversing as we could." "^^ The conversation of 
these gentlemen was about the old English poets, 
a subject Mrs. Carter thought for her part not 
"so much beyond a female capacity. " — But then 
Mrs. Carter was a notorious Blue-Stocking, 
Several years later a poet himself — Lord Byron 

A Man's Man 129 

— declared that women ought not to read poetry — or 
politics. " I wuddent talk to me wife about vottin' 
any more than she 'd talk to me about thrimmin' 
a hat," said Mr. Hennessy, a point of view which 
in this country only Mr. Dooley and a few others 
have hitherto seriously questioned. 

Poetry, American women do read; but as Am- 
erican men read only politics, neither poetry nor 
politics affords a "mixed" company much con- 
versation. Moreover, taking little or no part in 
men's callings or games, the ladies are apt to be 
inattentive listeners when "business" or "shop" 
or "sport" are imder discussion. No wonder a 
man is given to saying there are so few things you 
can talk to a woman about. 

Nor can a man even lose his temper in the pre- 
sence of a woman. In Central Australia, if men 
do get to quarrelling and shed blood in her sight, 
so strong is the feeling against women seeing men's 
blood, that the man who has been first blooded 
has to perform a conciliatory totemic ceremony. ^^ 
On the Island of Leti a woman has only to throw 
her sarong into a melee to end it.^^ xhe duels 
of our ancestors were always fought behind the 
backs of the ladies. Even to provoke a duel in 
their presence was bad form. To-day no gentleman 
will "insult" another — at least not very openly— 

130 TTKe Old-FasKioned W^oman 

before a lady. He cannot even swear at another 
man — or in fact at anything — with a woman 

Cut off at so many turns, ceremonially and 
practically, from the company of women, pursued 
by their representatives, inhibited in conversation 
with them or in one's temper before them, is it 
surprising that a man contents himself with the 
formula, "I never could understand a woman," 
that he puts up with the monotony or gracelessness 
of his club for the sake of its protection, that also 
for prudence' sake he even cherishes a reputation 
for misogyny or at any rate of being a man's man — 
particularly as he knows that he is thereby qualify- 
ing for getting from most women all they have to 



IN this day of social plasticity there is but one 
•■■ place where the occupation boundaries of 
sex are still quite undisturbed — the nursery. 
"Girls can't play soldier"; "boys don't know 
how to cook," "Whoever heard of a boy keeping 
house?" "You can't be the doctor, you 're a girl, " 
our children go on saying to one another, oblivious 
of such rarities as Dahoman Amazons, French 
chefs, Asiatic "boys," English butlers, or female 
graduates of John Hopkins or Cornell. 

Savages are almost as disregardful of and 
opposed to exceptions as children. Hunting, 
fishing, trapping, raiding, and fighting are so 
much the affair of the men that frequently intimacy 
with a woman or even her mere presence would 
endanger their success. Hence, New Zealand, 
New Guinean, Zulu,' and many other warriors 
keep away from women before starting on a cam- 
paign. Iroquois Indians do not marry until they 


132 THe Old-FasKioned "WomaLii 

stop fighting.^ (General Kitchener is said to 
have a strong prejudice against married soldiers). 
Alaskan and Malagasy whalers avoid women a 
week before their expeditions. ^ Bangala trappers 
likewise avoid them from the time they make or 
set up their trap until the quarry is caught or 
eaten. " 

Eskimos are said to take their wives himting, s 
and civilised "sports" sometimes take theirs; 
but whether because women "never can learn 
to handle a gun, " or because "you have to shave 
with them around, " or because your aim would be 
less certain or your trap less enticing, it is plain 
that as a rule out camping or shooting women are 
only in the way, "decidedly a bore." 

As an outcome of hunting and trapping, herding 
is a masculine occupation. Toda women may 
not even approach the buffalo dairies except at 
set hours and by set paths. Nor do they ever 
trespass at home on that part of the floor set aside 
for churning.^ An African herder usually be- 
lieves that his cattle will sicken if a woman has 
anything to do with them, so that in most pastoral 
Negro tribes the milking has to be done by the 
men. 7 Among the agricultural Bechuana the 
men have also to plough. ^ Clearing and getting 
ready the soil are commonly done by men; but 

"WorK and Play Boundaries 133 

to a large extent planting, as a development from 
their digging of roots or their gathering of berries 
or seeds, is in the hands of the women. Bakongo 
women would ridicule the man who undertook 
to help them in the fields. Orinoco women 
monopolised the tribal planting. "We do not 
know as much as they do," said their husbands 
in the belief that reproduction whether of children 
or of com needed the same kind of skill. ' 

Besides agriculture, marketing and transporta- 
tion, clothes and pottery, children and household 
chores are the business of the women. In many 
places a man would no doubt meet with difficulties 
in shops, but in Nicaragua if he even looks into 
one, he risks a beating,'" and in Abyssinia, 
infamy. ' ' It would take as much courage for 
a man in Samoa to make cloth '^ as for a man 
in London or New York to knit on a park bench 
or do plain sewing in the drawing-room. It is 
so scandalous for an Eskimo to touch a woman's 
job that even to drag ashore the seal he has 
killed would degrade him.'^ Once in British 
Guiana some men had perforce to bake and they 
were always pointed at afterwards as no better 
than old women. ' ■* For a New Caledonian to do 
any chores about the house or village would be 
" undignified. "' 5 Pueblo Indians would laugh at 

134 THe Old-FasHioned "Woman 

a man who undertook to plaster his house. Among 
the Caffres, if a big boy showed any interest in a 
baby, the other boys would call him a girl,^^ and 
a solicitous Caffre father would be far more 
ridiculed than the American who walks the floor at 
night or wheels the baby carriage around the park. 
The woman who does not wheel her baby carriage 
is also likely to be snubbed. Should she venture 
upon masculine pursuits, she is condemned 
primarily because she is supposed to have left 
her own. Dr. Longshore, the first woman to 
practise medicine in Philadelphia, was told by 
a druggist, refusing to fill her prescription, to go 
home "to look after her house and dam her 
husband's stockings. "' ^ In his opinion denying 
a woman admission to the bar of her state, Mr. 
Justice Bradley took occasion to say that "the 
constitution of the family organisation which is 
founded in the divine ordinance as well as in the 
nature of things, indicates the domestic sphere 
as that which properly belongs to the domain and 
functions of womankind."'^ "Can you cook an 
egg?" I heard a bystander on Fifth Avenue ask 
one of last year's suffrage paraders. The London 
heckler also depends for much of his humour upon 
his theory of the essential undomesticity of the 

"WorK and Play Dovindaries 135 

" L'un me brule mon r6t, en lisant quelque histoire; 
L'autre reve a des vers, quand je demande h. boire."'» 

In her biographies of married women, Maria 
Child remarks of one of them, Mrs. Lucy Hutchin- 
son, wife of the Roundhead Colonel, that although 
she was possessed of extraordinary talent and 
learning for a lady of her day, "she performed 
all the duties of a woman in a most exemplary 
manner."^" Biography of wives or, in fact, 
female biography in general is not as fashionable 
as it once was, but the admirer of any notable 
woman still tells you that in spite of her achieve- 
ments she is very domestic; and champions of 
woman-in-modem-industry urge in her support 
that after all she is only doing what woman has 
always done, statistics showing she has merely 
followed her old-time jobs from the home to the 

There are variations of course, in the economic 
alignments of sex. Among the Yahgan, the men 
never go out fishing. =*' Fire-making among the 
Wataveta is a man's secret. ^^ In East Central 
Africa, sewing is done by the men of the family, and 
a woman can divorce her husband for a rent in 
her petticoat. ^3 ^ Beni-Harith would rather 
die of hunger than eat at the hands of a woman, 
and Warua and Uripiv men have to cook for 

136 TKe Old-FasKionecl "Woman 

themselves or run the risk of a supernatural 
mishap. '^ '• In Abyssinia, although he cannot carry 
water, all of the household wash must be done by 
the man of the family. ^ ^ Nicaraguans do the house- 
work to leave their wives free to trade. The Egypt- 
ians did the household weaving, Herodotus tells 
us, for the same end.^^ To gratify the American 
housewife's peculiar love of shopping her husband 
sometimes stays home to mind the house and 
commonly does more than a man's stint of work. 
The American tells you he is superior to the Eu- 
ropean because, among other reasons, American 
women never work like European women in the 
fields. There are also places in the United States 
where a man lets a girl row or paddle his boat 
or canoe only imder protest, and throughout the 
country it reflects on a man to have a girl who is 
walking with him carry even her own coat. 

Peculiarly feminine appointments like a parasol 
or a fan either girl or man is free to carry when 
together; to an unaccompanied man they are 
taboo. And a man is always expected to make 
it plain that he is carrying a woman's things 
from gallantry, not subservience. As Robert 
Burton once pointed out, there "is no greater 
misery to a man" than to be his wife's "pack- 
horse," to have to bear with her when she says: 

"WorK and Play Bovindaries 137 

" Here take my muff, and do you hear, good man; 
Now give me Pearl, and carry you my fan."^' 

A great many other things besides personal 
equipments are sex property too. In AustraHa 
a woman may not carry a shield, nor a man, 
a digging-stick. In the Marquesas a man may 
not even touch tapa and a woman meddling with 
a canoe would be killed.^* A Caff re woman 
would not dare to help herself out of the milk- 
sack.^' An Eskimo would not think of rowing in 
an umiak, the large boat used by the women. 
The Calif omian Indian who chooses the "woman- 
stick" in preference to the bow when they are 
ceremonially offered to him, has to work with the 
women the rest of his life. ^^ Among the Thomp- 
son River Indians, women's implements, the 
basket, the kettle, the root-digger, the packing- 
line, even become their individual totem or guar- 
dian spirit. 3^ A Naga who touched a woman's 
pottery or weaving tool would be punished.-'* 
Among the Bongos stools are used only by women. 
Men forego them as effeminate. ^^ "A spinning- 
wheel is a woman's weapon," pleaded the un- 
fortimate German abbot who to his dismay 
found himself engaged in an argument with one 
of the learned ladies of the sixteenth century. ^'^ 
Reading newspapers at the breakfast-table is so 

138 XKe Old-FasHioned ^S^oman 

peculiar to men that a recently patented table rack 
was quite appropriately advertised as a Christ- 
mas present suitable for Father or Husband. 

Sex property is particularly well recognised in 
the nursery. Toys are generally sexed. Is a boy 
ever given a doll-house or toy kitchen or laimdry, 
or a girl, a toy pistol or railway or stable? 

In the play of the child which does not ape 
work, sex property and sex lines are also obser- 
vable. Balls and bats, marbles, kites and tops 
belong to boys ; skipping-ropes and hoops to girls. 
A girl plays baseball or marbles against the heavy 
odds of being either disparaged or patronised. A 
boy snatches away a girl's skipping-rope only to 
tease her or to "show off, " and what boy is willing 
to ride a girl's bicycle or wear a girl's skates? 

Again, savages like children are apt to have 
separate pastimes for the sexes. Games in which 
weapons are used in fun as in archery or putting 
the shot or casting spears or darts are naturally 
not played by women. Nor do they take part 
in sports which have to do with cattle or horses. 
A Toda woman would never join in catching the 
sacred buffalo at the funeral ceremonies, ^s the 
favourite sport of the men. A North American 
Indian woman may mount a horse — but only 
for transportation and usually seated behind or 

WorK and Play Boundaries 139 

in front of her husband, Hke our own colonial 
dames or Spanish Americans of a later day. No 
Indian woman ever plays the great hoop and pole 
game of all the North American tribes. ^^ The 
Apache woman may not even see it played. On 
the other hand there is a game of double ball 
played, outside of Northern California, exclusively 
by women. ^^ 

Even if the same game is played by both sexes, 
it is apt to be played with variations. In playing 
"lehal," a bone guessing-game, Thompson River 
Indian men and women sing different songs. 
Among the Wahpetou and Sissetou tribes the pro- 
perty of a dead person is gambled for at his or 
her death feast, the guests — all men or all women — 
playing against the man or woman representing 
the ghost. Formerly when the dice were figured 
plum seeds, the men played with eight of them, 
the women, with seven. In the guessing or dice 
games of many other Indian tribes, women are 
apt to use a basket, men their hands. ^^ In the 
card games of civilisation women usually play 
for lower stakes than men, sometimes refusing 
"to play for money" at all. 

Nor in primitive culture do the sexes play any 
game as a rule together. In Leper's Island, a 
game of guessing the identity of a person hiding 

140 THe Old-FasHioned "Woman 

behind the door shutter of a house is played by 
both sexes, but never together. ^^ There is a wide- 
spread hand-game among the American Indians, 
much hke our "Jenkins up" or "hunt the button," 
which both men and women play, but usually 
apart. "Frequently there will be a party of 
twenty or thirty men gaming in one tipi, " 
writes Mooney of this game among the Arapaho, 
" while from another tipi a few rods away comes 
a shrill chorus from a group of women engaged 
in another game of the same kind,""" — a game 
of "bridge" at the club and another at a ladies' 
lunch party. 

When savage men and women do play together 
they are apt, like children everywhere, to line 
up against one another. The Crows play shinny, 
for example, and the Topinagugine, football, — 
men against women. "*' 

On the whole more games are played, I sur- 
mise, and played more habitually, alike in 
savagery and in civilisation, by men than by 
women, particularly gambling and divination 
games. (Perhaps because of their sacerdotal 
origin.) In Vancouver tribes it is "indecent" 
for women even to look on at men gambling,''^ 
and from many of the gaming-hells of civilisa- 
tion women are excluded. 

WorK and Play Boundaries 141 

It is undoubtedly because of its sacerdotal 
origin that women are frequently excluded from 
taking part in the drama or even from its circle 
of spectators. A Japanese lady was told not to 
"feed her eyes and ears" with ditties, ballads, or 
theatrical performances. " ^ It is a question whether 
Greek ladies went or not to the comedies. At any 
rate women took no part in the acting of Greek 
plays. During the Renaissance a young prelate, 
Tommaso Inghirami, was the "leading lady" at 
the court of Leo X. We recall that even in 
Shakspeare's day the women's parts had to be 
acted by youths, that for a long period English 
women did not go to the play at all and then 
when they ventured that they went only with the 
greatest circumspection. "There are few English 
comedies a lady can see, without a shock to deli- 
cacy, " wrote Dr. Gregory to his daughters. "You 
will not readily suspect the comments gentlemen 
make on your behaviour on such occasions. . . .- 
The only way to avoid these inconveniences, is 
never to go to a play that is particularly offen- 
sive to delicacy. " ^4 j^ New York as late as 1830, 
the pit was taboo to the ladies, and no man who 
was careful about his womenfolk ever allowed them 
to attend a ballet. '^^ Until of late years in fact an 
Anglo-Saxon often refused to take his wife to any 
public show uncensored by himself. 

142 XHe Old-KasHioned "Woman 

Dancing, the elder relative of acting, and 
originally always a mimetic performance, has 
naturally varied a great deal with sex. In most 
communities one sex is apt to be precluded from 
the specialised dancing of the other sex, from war 
or harvest or court or temple dances. Even when 
men and women dance together their postures, 
steps, and positions are different. Recently I 
saw an Apache dance in which the men circled 
around the drum player in the centre, ring within 
ring, the women making the outermost ring. 
Felkin saw a similar figure danced by the Bari 
in the Soudan, the inner circle of men moving 
from left to right, the outer of women, from right 
to left. ''^ In the ball-game dance of the Cherokees 
the men danced in a circle around the fire and 
the women in line a few feet away, men and 
women singing separate songs. '*'' In a night dance 
of the Akikuyus the men stand in a circle with 
their backs to the fire in the centre. The girls 
face them, their hands on the men's shoulders. The 
men put their arms around their partners' waists, 
holding in both hands their long dancing-spear 
with its butt driven into the ground. Together 
men and girls sway from the waist backwards 
or forwards or from side to side. ^^ In our lancers 
the men stand or pirouette in one direction, the 

"WorK and Play Boundaries 143 

women, in another; the men bow, the women 
curtsey. In cotillion figures men and women 
play of course quite different parts. Even in 
the waltz, it is the gentleman who "holds" the 
lady and who starts to "reverse," mimicry which 
the defenders of the "old" against the "new" 
dances seem in their zeal to overlook. 

In both play and work caste may break down 
some of the barriers raised by sex. Women, or 
rather some of them, have been let into men's play 
for the same reason some men have been let 
into women's work. The slave and the factory 
made possible a leisure class of women to become 
the vicarious consumers of men's wealth. For rich 
men, games and sports are one of the most prestige- 
ful means of consumption, so that it was natural 
for their unoccupied womankind to share in them — 
at least as soon as cloistering began to go out of 
fashion and the man too fastidious to see a woman 
take imbecoming exercise became rare. 

On the other hand, the feminine chores that 
would have been degrading for a freeman, the 
slave, the feudal retainer, or the wage-earner 
have had to do. The original sex prejudice 
against particular jobs becomes a class prejudice. 
To be "in trade" or to spin cotton or weave wool 
in a factory disqualifies for the "best society." 

144 XKe Old-FasHionecl "Woman 

Tailors are accounted one ninth of a man. Bar- 
bers fare somewhat better, but male house 
servants are so much disesteemed that they have 
to be recruited from the descendants of slaves or 
from countries where the feudal tradition is 

But caste may also raise up sex barriers in 
economy. Once housewives give up their places 
to slaves or wage-earners, their chief service, econ- 
omically, is to be evidence of a man's wealth. 
The more idle they are, the more convincing. 
So it easily becomes discreditable to a man to 
have his womenfolk do any work at all. This 
theory, of course, can only be fully carried out 
in the highest economic classes; but where it 
prevails it more or less modifies the working 
habits of all classes of women. In early Victorian 
England, for example, there was a fiction in 
genteel middle-class families that the ladies of 
the house never did anything serviceable after 
the mid-day dinner, so that in the ceremonial of 
afternoon calling "no one was to be surprised in 
doing any kind of work. " ■'' Of this period too was 
the tradition that if a lady did work, it had to be 
without pay or merely for "pocket-money," a 
tradition still active in lowering women's wages. 
Even more persistent and far-reaching is the 

WorK and Play Boundaries 145 

kindred theory that a girl works only because 
she has to, having none to work for her. It is 
primarily of course a middle-class theory, but 
even in organisations for the unemployed, in- 
surance against worklessness is sometimes not 
open to women. 5° 

When, in spite of these leisure-class traditions, 
women succeed in making their way into a new 
calling, it straightway tends to be disesteemed for 
men. I have known "men of affairs" who pub- 
lished their verses or their novels anonymously 
in order not to hurt their business or their pro- 
fessional standing. Painter and poet — in the 
United States at least — know that they are again 
and again discounted by practical men as 
effeminate. A Wisconsin Congressman of my 
acquaintance considers it expedient to keep his 
talent as a pianist a secret from his constituents. 
Nowhere has the male nurse as good a "social 
position" as the female. A man tutors or teaches 
school as a makeshift. There would be even 
more prejudice against a man kindergartner in 
the New York Department of Education than 
against a woman professor in Columbia Uni- 

These anti-male taboos are the more striking 
because the callings from which art and teaching 

146 THe Old-KasKioned "Woman 

and nursing were differentiated, priestcraft and 
medicine, are still a male monoply. 

When the original medicine-man, the doctor- 
priest-chief, becomes even more disintegrated, will 
the split-off s in their turn be eff eminised ? Will the 
family doctor, already a disappearing type as a 
man, reappear as a woman* — thanks perhaps to 
the primitive sex prejudices which already serve 
the turn of the woman doctor in her struggle 
against the professional taboo? Long ago the 
Priest ceased to be poet, painter, musician, 
time-keeper, historian, naturalist. Since the Pro- 
testant Reformation, he has even lost prestige 
as a go-between for the gods. Now if Christianity 
becomes too metaphysical for practical life, and 
deity too remote for any communication at all, 
will ghost-worship be revived as spiritism and 
women, always more of a success as mediums 
than the men, come into their own again? Will 
the officials into whom the Chief is rapidly being 
differentiated also turn out to be women, men 
turning away from such routine jobs as public 
housekeeping, popular education, and inter- 
national hospitality to the more exacting and 
interesting sciences back of them all? 

Indeed, if ever medicine, religion, or politics 

* Perhaps the visiting nurse is her forerunner. 

"WorK and Play Boxindaries 147 

become matters of routine, their practice or ad- 
ministration may no doubt be safely entrusted 
to women. Is it not proper for women "to apply 
the principles men discover,"* and have not 
women always been depended upon in fact to keep 
the social machinery running, "natural" conser- 
vatives as they are said to be ? 

Less well informed than our ancestors, apparent- 
ly, about God's intentions for the sexes, we are 
as yet not at all uncertain about Nature's, and 
women we persistently classify as "naturally" im- 
itative and conservative, and men as "naturally " 
inventive and radical. Who knows but in 
society's re-alignments of sex to suit this clas- 
sification, to be a conservative will become as 
disreputable for a man as it was for a woman in 
ancient Greece or feudal Japan to be a poet, or 
to be "progressive"! will be as dangerous for 
a woman in, let us say, the twenty-second cen- 
tury as it was in the seventeenth to be a natural 

And yet it is not danger, but derision, that 
keeps men and women in their places. Without 
ridicule society would be topsy-turvy. The 

* Rousseau, Emile, Bk. V. 

t We may remember that in a recent political campaign one 
prominent woman at least was publicly scolded for affiliating 
herself with the "progressives. " 

148 XHe Old-FasHioned ^SToman 

comic supplement is a social bulwark. Once it 
ceases to be "funny" for a man to thread a needle 
or shop or hold a baby, or for a woman to cast 
a ballot or sit on a jury or introduce a bill, domes- 
ticity and politics will become optional for both. 
Hitherto there has been nothing ridiculous in the 
man who imitates — providing his object is not 
a woman — or in the woman who invents — if she 
is modest about it — in a male reactionary or in 
a female radical; but as soon as our attention 
is focussed upon these types by the cartoonists 
and the "movy-man" we suspect that new fields 
for control will open up to all our grave Directors 
of Sex — and opportunely perhaps, a little desceuvres 
just now as they seem. 



DARRIERS of nature, mountains, seas, deserts, 
•^ are not, we well know, the only causes of 
dialect. The special interests which also split 
up a community acquire each a tongue of their 
own. Priestcraft always has more or less of an 
esoteric language, using foreign or archaic or quite 
forgotten forms of speech. Fishing and hunting, 
farming and industry, law, medicine, and science 
have all their technical vocabularies. Special 
words must be used or tabooed in addressing 
royalties, and Fifth Avenue excursionists have to 
learn the "expressions" of the East and West 

Since different interests make for differentiated 
forms of speech, may we anywhere expect to find 
men and women speaking quite the same language? 

Sacred words or dialects are generally kept 
secret from women. Kaitish tribesmen believe in 
a spirit they call Atnatu. Their women may not 


150 XKe Old-FasKioned ^A^oman 

know his name or anything else about him; but 
they call what they believe to be his voice, the 
bull-roarer, Tumana. ^ Shut out from the secret 
society of the men, its Papuan name, Asa, means 
merely something supernatural and fearful to 
Papuan women. ^ In general the members of 
secret societies, Australian or Papuan, Melanesian 
or Bantu, speak a society slang never spoken of 
course before the uninitiated, i.e., the children and 
the women. ^ 

In self -protection, primitive fowlers and hunters, 
sailors and miners, use special terms to puzzle or 
placate the spirits of the animals or waters or soils 
they are upsetting or crossing or pursuing. Of 
such sacrosanct lingo we may be sure the women 
are kept in ignorance, shut out as they are from 
the pursuit or calling itself. 

A special taboo of this kind falls upon the 
Eskimo* women of Baffin Land. As long as they 
are in mourning, they may not mention the name 
of any animal at all. "* Verbal taboos of mourning 
in general are apt to be heavier on women, like other 
mourning taboos, than on men. There are tribes 
in Australia and in North America in which, speech 
being entirely taboo as we have elsewhere noted, 

* Among other peoples the Eskimos believe that animals can 
hear and understand what is said of them at a distance. 

Sex Dialects 151 

widows use nothing but a gesture language. In 
many other communities in which a ghost is sup- 
posed to be attracted by his name or to object for 
some reason or other to its use, his kindred and 
particularly his widow become apt in periphrasis, 
avoiding not only his name but any common noun 
in which it or even any syllable of it occurs. Zulu 
women even taboo every sound at all like one in a 
tabooed name, and it is said that at the king's 
kraal it is sometimes difficult to understand the 
speech of the royal wives, tabooing as they do all 
the sounds in the names of all the king's deceased 
forebears, lineal and collateral.^ 

Ancestor worship and nature cults compromise 
with or cede to other forms of polytheism, but 
whatever course religion takes women continue to 
be excluded from its esoteric speech. Hindu 
women cannot read the Sanskrit of the Vedic 
texts.'' Untaught in Hebrew, the Jewess has to 
pray in the vernacular.* During the Middle Ages 
comparatively few Christian women were able to 
read the Bible. 

Nowadays men encourage rather than dis- 
courage women to read the Bible; but to one of 
their ancient religious privileges the men still cling. 

* According to an Hebraic myth an ambitious Jewish maiden 
once reached Heaven by bribing one of the fallen angels to tell 
her the Ineffable Name. 

152 XKe Old-FasKioned Woman 

Profanity, originally merely an appeal to the gods, 
belongs exclusively, they feel, to themselves, a 
prerogative they safeguard by not even availing 
themselves of it before a woman. And effectually, 
for "a woman does not know how to swear, even 
if she tries," the men say. Even where the com- 
pany holds that swearing is "bad form" or "in 
poor taste" for men at any time, they find it far 
more offensive in women. A woman who swears 
"makes one shudder," and she is always criticised 
at least as "coarse. " She has received even more 
drastic treatment. Moses a Vauts tells us that 
he had a wife who would not forbear swearing. 
So one day when after mild admonition she "let 
fly 2 or 3 bloudy horrid Oaths in* my Face," he 
writes, "I bestowed so many Flaps with my bare 
hand alone on her Mouth, the Part Offending. "* 
We may notice, too, that the modified expletives 
dear to a boy, "Gee!", "By gosh!", "Golly!", 
are more or less taboo to little girls. Girls are 
expected in fact to use quite a different set of ex- 
clamations from their brothers — although "Oh 
my!", "Oh dear!", "Oh gracious!", "My good- 

*The Husband's Authority UnvaiVd; Wherein it is moderately 
discussed whether it he fit or lawfidl for a good Man to beat his 
had Wife, p. 84. London, 1650. This Englishman adds, to be 
sure, that for the same offence he would gladly receive the same 
treatment "from any Christian other than my Wife." 

Sex Dialects 153 

ness!", "Mercy!", may of course be only appeal 
to deity in the disguise of abbreviation.* 

Excluded from statecraft as well as from theo- 
logy, women have naturally been ignorant of the 
dialect of politics. Notwithstanding the very 
marked sex dialects of their daily life, the Caribs 
of the West Indies spoke a special jargon in their 
councils, a jargon quite unknown to the women and 
children. ' In mediaeval Europe, Latin was the lan- 
guage of statesmen as well as of churchmen, and 
only very enterprising women indeed learned Lat- 
in. It is "a rare unusual thing for a woman to 
understand Latin," said the German abbot who 
argued that that tongue was "not fit for a woman " 
because it contributed nothing towards the de- 
fence of her chastity.' 

To-day it is only the conservative among our 
college girls who "elects" Latin; but even she 
finds outside of the classroom that the men who 
use it as a conversational garnish considerately 
imdertake to translate it for her. As for our own 
political terms, woman suffrage has not yet been 
triumphant enough to deprive men of the pleasure 

* The English-speaking Frank women of Smyrna are in the 
habit of prefacing their sentences with koXtj as an equivalent 
of " I say. ' ' Lucy M.J. Gamett suggests ( The Women of Turkey: 
The Christian Women, p. 371, n. i) that the ejaculation may be a 
survival of the invocation of Artemis as 'H kuXtj, Ephesus, the 
ancient centre of her cult, being only thirty miles or so distant. 

154 TKe Old-rasKioned "Woman 

of explaining them to women. Fortunately the 
meaning of primaries, of election districts, of 
moving the previous question, of scratching the 
ticket, etc., will undoubtedly survive for some time 
as helpful dinner-table topics. 

Women are also imleamed in the dialects of 
business and trade, of war and its machines, and 
of sport. Few women understand the slang of 
Wall Street or are able to read stock quotations. 
How many women remain sufficiently unbewildered 
by new terms to go on listening when men begin 
to discuss the balance of trade or the theory of 
a central bank? Military expressions are rarely 
used by a woman and she is as uncertain in her 
reference to the parts of pistol or rifle as in her 
handling of them. Football, baseball, boats, 
horses, cards, drink, all have their technical 
vocabularies, and bits of them often come to be 
understood and adapted to other exigencies of 
description by the layman, seldom by the lay- 
woman. In critical circles, in fact, her use of race 
track, gambling, or tippling slang would be 
deplored, since it suggests a knowledge of the 
details of "sport" "distinctly unbecoming."' 

Indeed our successive out-croppings of slang 
phrases — "It 's a cinch," "She 's a peach," "You 're 
easy," etc., etc., are both introduced and used 

Sex Dialects 155 

for the most part by men. That "slang is bad 
enough in a yoimg man, but in a young woman 
it is disgusting," was once a widespread opinion. 
Old standby s in fact like "hell" or "son of a 

" (various fanciful parents) no "gentleman" 

will utter before a "lady " at all or at least without 
begging her pardon. 

Women too are apologetic about using certain 
words to men. "Is that the right word?" or 
"Is that the way you pronounce it?" is a kind of 
self-deprecatory question they are apt to ask in 
using tmfamiliar or technical terms. It protects 
them against an anticipated charge of pedantry, 
recognising the fact of their trespass, but dis- 
arming male criticism by its appeal. 

On the other hand, women seem not to develop 
to any extent special terms for their own interests. 
Except in Nyasaland where women have a set of 
special terms for food, ^° any man can under- 
stand the talk of any woman about household 
detail — as far as words go. There are but few 
peculiar terms for servants or babies, for shop- 
ping or marketing, for domestic hygiene or art. 
Women use more colour terms than men — at least 
in the United States — and the terminology of 
women's dress men find puzzling — or pretend to. 
But on the whole, do not men seem to run to 

156 XHe Old-FasHioned "Woman 

technical terms and women — away from them? — a 
differentiation the ethnologist may do well to 
notice when he considers the influence of sex on the 
origins of language. 

In general the reason of this differentiation is 
not clear — to me, at least. One case in contem- 
poraneous civilisation I may perhaps except. 
Men have what might almost be called a secret 
language of sex, whereas women have no words, 
secret or otherwise, to describe some of the sim- 
plest sex characters and expressions.* How does 
this happen? The making up of a sex vocabulary 
begins in the nursery. Given no names by their 
mothers for parts of their bodies, children very soon 
make up their own names. A child will always 
invent a name for the unnamed. Usually their 
"make up " calls forth mirth and soon goes the way 
of other "baby talk." But in this case a child is 
made to realise that its business of naming is objec- 
tionable. Now the little girl is readily shamed out of 
her newly coined words, but the little boy for some 
reason or other treasures them — in secret. And 
their secrecy gives them, of course, a new value. 

* It is likely that savage women have a larger sex vocabulary 
than civilised women. Swahili women, for example, have ore 
of their own made up of symbolical terms, archaic words, and 
words borrowed from other Bantu dialects. [Zache, H., " Sitten 
und Gebrauche der Suaheli," Zt. f. Ethnologic, xxxi (1899) 70.] 

Sex Dialects 157 

This nursery history explains, I think, in part, 
the obscenity of boys, and the state of mind in 
both sexes when adult that makes it necessary to 
duplicate college lectures treating of sex — even 
in a coeducational medical school. ^^ 

The sex taboos of the nursery become, of course, 
more and more exaggerated. The body is more 
and more hidden from sight and sex functions are 
carefully ignored. Boys escape from the nursery 
and learn, or misleam, of sex; but for girls who 
commonly do not leave their nursery until they 
start to make another there is Httle opportunity 
to hear anything at all about sex. Husbands, as 
well as mothers, may be poor teachers, and we 
know that society at large habitually discounte- 
nances every explicit reference to sex. "We 
especially deplore, " wrote a body of New England 
churchmen in 1837, "the intimate acquaintance 
and promiscuous conversation of females with 
regard to things which ought not to be named; 
by which that modesty and delicacy which is the 
charm of domestic life, and which constitutes the 
true influence of woman in society, is consumed, 
and the way opened, as we apprehend, for de- 
generacy and ruin."*^ 

As, in accordance with this theory, no "decent" 
woman has been supposed to know anything 

158 THe Old-FasHioned \Voman 

about prostitution, much less to mention it, at 
least until very recently, its vocabulary, too, is 
necessarily unintelligible to her; many an "after- 
dinner story" it would be difficult for her to under- 
stand enough of to laugh at — if she wished. 

But, as we know, there are also many general 
terms of sex which cannot be used in a "mixed" 
company.* An English lecturer on eugenics 
tells us that only with caution and anxiety does 
he ever venture to use the phrase "sexual selection " 
before a mixed audience, and that for many years 
he has found "racial" less disconcerting than 
"sexual, " instinct. He advises the use of "parent- 
hood" instead of "reproduction," and he points 
out that Philamintef is much less upset by "sex" 
(as an adjective) than by "sexual." He says 
that it is dangerous to use "pregnant" to her in 
any but its metaphorical sense, but that the para- 

* Just as in Micronesia and Fiji there are many words which 
it is tambu, to use the Fijian term, to utter in female society. 
Before women, for example, Fijians must refer to a lad who 
has just been circumcised as teve, not kula, the proper term. 
(WilHams, T., Fiji and the Fijians, i, 67, London, 1858. Cp. 
Brown, p. 383.) 

t "Mais le plus beau projet de notre acad^mie 

C'est le retranchement de ces syllabes sales, 

Que dans les plus beaux mots produisent des scandales; 

Ces sources d'un amas d'^quivoques infdmes, 
Dont on vient faire insulte h la pudeur des femmes. " 
(Moliere, Les Femmes Savantes, Act iii, Sc. ii.) 

Sex Dialects 159 

phrase of "expectant mother" she hears with 
equanimity. ^ ^ The newspaper editor knows, how- 
ever, that left to herself she prefers natural history- 

Besides specific differences in sex interests, 
differences in sex character and outlook in general 
seem also to have made an impression on language. 
It shows particularly in adjectives. For example, 
are not "lovely," "darling," "sweet," "horrid," 
"mean" peculiarly girls' adjectives, and "bully," 
"fine," "jolly" "rum," "rotten," "bum," pecu- 
liarly boys'? Boys and girls may also use the 
same adjective, "cunning" or "cute" for example, 
in different senses. 

Judging from their adjectives or descriptive 
phrases, women tend to over- and men to under- 
statement. Describing a fire, for example, a 
woman would say that it was "perfectly frightful" 
or "dreadful," a man, that it was "a pretty bad 
blaze. " On the other hand, in praise or de- 
nunciation a man's terms are sometimes stronger 
than a woman's. "Nice" "dear, " "lovely" "just- 
too-sweet," correspond to his "great," "fine," 
" capital," "stimning";" poor thing "to his "dub" 
or "slob"; "minx" and "cat" to his "skunk" 
and "shark." 

"Perfectly," as we have noted, is a woman's 

l6o XKe Old-FasHioned "Woman 

word. So in hackneyed humour is "because." 
The " bromidiom " or inevitable remark, as well 
as slang and dictionary adjectives or adverbs, is 
of course characteristic of the point of view, and 
"bromidioms" have sex. I once classified Gelett 
Burgess's original list of them to test his own sex 
theory of the "bromide,""' and found one third 
of them male, one third female, and one third 
neuter. It was an amusing occupation, for one 
was so certain of the classification and so uncertain 
of its reasons. Could a man say, for example, 
"I really ought n't to tell this, but I know you 
understand," or "Why, I know you better than 
you know yourself!" Or a woman, "I want to 
see my own country before I go abroad," or "He 's 
told that lie so often that he believes it himself 

Men and women use different words in their 
salutations. There is, for example, the difference 
between "Hello" and "How do you do?"* We 
may notice too that "Hello" is apt to be fol- 
lowed by "old sport," "old scut," "old goat," 
and "How do you do?" by "my dear," "you 
sweet thing," "my love." Children are noticed 

* A difference parallelled, we are told, in Fiji, and I venture 
to say in many other primitive groups; but this sexual differ- 
entiation — like many others — has been unnoted as a rule by 

Sex Dialects i6i 

with two quite distinct sets of appellations — 
"dearie," "sweetheart," "precious," etc., and 
''captain," "snooks," "kid," etc. 

Is sex also a factor in the written language? 
Writing and reading in general were once hierarchi- 
cal secrets. They were therefore likely to be 
disclosed to men before women; but even when 
they are fully secularised a reluctance to teach 
them to women persists. "Some Stoicks indeed 
there are," writes a seventeenth century English- 
man, "who will not allow any Books to Woman- 
kind. " ' 5 "What do girls want with to: ypaixtxaxaa? " 
asked the Greek Christian of would-be school 
teachers in the Turkish provinces. "We should 
have to watch them more vigilantly than ever. " ^ ^ 
"Teach a girl to read and write!" said a Moslem 
mufti in Tripoli to Dr. Jessup. "Why, she will 
write letters, sir, — yes, actually write letters ! The 
thing is not to be thought of for a moment. "'' 
With a like point of view some of our mediaeval 
schoolmen also urged that women should not be 
taught to write. ^^ 

Allowed to read and write, special books are 
written for women, and sometimes even a special 
script is required of them. The Japanese alphabet 
has two sets of characters, katakana for the men, 
hiragana for the women; and Japanese female 

l62 XKe Old-FasKioned ^^oman 

writing has its own syntax and many peculiar 
idioms. A woman versed in the learned script, 
a poetess, was admired, but, as in Greece, classified 
as a courtesan.^' Was not a "ladylike" hand- 
writing an important part of the education of our 
great-grandmothers ? 

Nowadays there are signs of handwriting of any 
kind becoming a feminine specialty. We hear 
that letter writing, the last refuge of longhand, is 
becoming a lost art; but that women practise it 
more than men. Then, too, in sending a type- 
written letter to a woman most men apologise for it, 
and there are, in fact, women who resent receiving 
typewritten letters. 

Started late in Hterature, it was natural that 
special books should be written for women, primers 
suited to their "natural " intelligence or to their un- 
trained minds. Otherwise, in reading men's books it 
was thought they ran the risk of discouragement — 
unless they "skipped." We may note, by the way, 
that for "skipping," we have as good an authority 
as Saint Teresa, since she begs her nuns when they 
read not to weary themselves with what they can- 
not understand, with "subtile discussions." "This 
is not fit for women. ... Be always, then, on 
your guard against perplexing your mind. . . . 
Since women need no more than what suits their 

Sex Dialects 163 

capacity. " And the Saint adds contentedly and 
in a phrase many an anti-suffragist has since 
paraphrased : ' ' And in this respect God confers a 
favour upon us. "^° 

In writing books women could read without 
skipping, authors had to appreciate, however, that 
they might endanger their circulation^ Francis 
of Sales was told, for example, that because he 
had dedicated his "Introduction to a Devout Life " 
to Philothea he had kept many men from reading 
it, men "who considered as quite beneath them 
the coimsels given to a woman. " His next book 
he accordingly dedicated to a man, opining that if 
for that reason women did not read it, " the mistake 
would be in them more excusable. "^^ 

Left to themselves, I doubt if women ever make 
this mistake, however excusable. Teresa her- 
self was quite subtle-minded enough to want to 
read the argimients of the schoolmen. Even little 
girls are as a riile glad to read boys' books. But as 
they grow older they have not always been allowed 
to read them. "It may here be questioned," 
writes the seventeenth century author of Decency 
in Conversation amongst Women, "whether the 
reading of Romances may be permitted to young 
Ladies, of which divers men speak diversly accord- 
ing to the variety of their fancies." As for 

164 XHe Old-KasKioned 'Woman 

"wanton" ballads and "loose pamphlets," "peril- 
ous books" which "learn young maids to sin 
more wittily, "* "no Man can comprehend" how 
they "may be justified."" 

A like opinion had been held by Viv^s, the 
Spanish pedagogue, and he implored mothers to be 
more "strict " about the reading of their daugh- 
ters, those emancipated "American" girls of the 
Renaissance, as a conservative Frenchman calls 
them. As a matter of fact, antique though their 
criteria be, "careful" American parents do censor 
the books their daughters read, and now and again 
an American husband may be heard to say, "I 
won't let my wife read that book." 

Books to suit women's interests as well as their 
mental or moral capacity have, of course, always 
been written. In those calm days when the double 
code of morals passed unchallenged, separate 
moral tracts were written for women. The sexes 
were not even scolded together, observes Mr. 
Higginson.^' The seventeenth century authors 
of The Whole Duty of Man and of Youths Behaviour 

*"In those vain Pamphlets, they do read how this Virgin 
leaves her Countrey and her Parents to run after that Stranger; 
another is in love in a moment, when she reads that she hath 
received Letters from such and such a Gallant, and how they 
have appointed private places where to meet together." (P. 168.) 
— "Too much novel reading is very bad for girls." 

Sex Dialects 165 

published companion volumes called The Ladies' 
Calling, and Decency in Conversation amongst 
Women. A century or so later the Rev. Thomas 
Gisborne wrote first his Duties of Men and then 
his Duties of Women. Moral books for the young 
were also sexed. Letters or Talks were addressed 
specifically to Yoimg Ladies or to Young Gen- 
tlemen. "Preceptors" and "instructors" were 
compiled for each sex — like the "readers" of a 
later day. 

Children's books are still in general classified as 
boys* books and girls' books, stories about boys 
and their adventures for boys, stories about girls 
and their virtues for girls. Female biography 
was not so long ago addressed to adult females, 
and collections of female poets dedicated to them. 

Nowadays novels, having apparently lived down 
their once suspicious character, are the nearest 
approach to publications for women; the news- 
papers, for men. " I have no time to read novels," 
remarks in self-defence or self-satisfaction the 
man who gives an hour a day to his newspapers. 
"I am too busy to read the paper," says the 
housewife who patronises the circulating library. 

Half a century ago, when a lady did express any 
desire to read the newspaper, the sheet containing 
the advertisements, and the Births, Deaths and 

i66 THe Old-FasHioned W^oman 

Marriages was "considerately selected"^'* for her. 
To-day there is a ''woman's page" for her in the 
daily newspapers, and entire weeklies or monthlies 
are published for her- — even in China. So care- 
fully adapted to her interests and mind are all of 
these publications that they undoubtedly reduce 
the danger of her defeminising herself by the 
reading of periodicals* to a minimum. 

* Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, § 239. 



A CONTEMPORANEOUS Teufelsdroeck might 
"'*• be prompted to write the history of clothes, 
but not their philosophy. Shorn of their social 
significance, they are being lowered to a utili- 
tarian basis, and even that is insecure. Thanks to 
railroads and steamships, illustrated newspapers 
and pictiu-e postal cards, national costume has 
almost disappeared. Factory and democracy are 
making it impossible for any class to wear a dis- 
tinctive dress. With the disappearance of age 
classes, dressing according to age of course dis- 
appears too. Except on babies or yotmg women, 
long skirts or old ladies' caps are anachronisms. 
And yet more stubborn than nationality, rank, 
or age, sex still exacts observance in dress. "She 
dresses like a man, " is still a derogatory thing to say 
of a woman. If buff waistcoats, gilt buttons, and 
black beavers,* or linen collars, "tailor suits," and 

* See Mrs. L. G. Abell, Woman in Her Various Relations: 
Containing Practical Rules for American Females, p. 307. New 
York, 1853. 


I68 TKe Old-rasKioned 'Woman 

sailor hats no longer subject her to this reproach, 
short hair still does. Long hair does even worse 
for a man, classifying him as a "grind," a musician, 
or a crank. It was a costly mistake for an Aboli- 
tionist to let his hair grow. At one time the 
Massachusetts Puritan was ordered by the General 
Court, true to its Roimdhead traditions, not to 
"wear long hair like women's hair " ' ; and China has 
lately had to sacrifice her pigtails to get a position 
in the world. Dinka women wear an apron, and 
the Dinkas call the neighbouring Nilotic tribes of 
Bongo, "women," because their men wear one. 
Schweinfurth, their dressy European visitor, they 
called in irony the "Turkish lady. "^ On the other 
hand, their Bari neighbours consider it woman- 
ish to dress at all. In dressing up they rely 
entirely upon red paint. ^ Until very recently in 
the United States a man dressed up in a pleated 
shirt or white socks at a considerable risk of it, 
too, being "a shame unto him." Even now a 
bracelet watch may subject its wearer to a charge 
of effeminacy. 

More flagrant trespasses are penalised more 
gravely, Turkish trousers render their wearer 
liable to jeers or even banishment. In their 
beginnings, bloomers and divided skirts entailed 
difficulties almost as serious. The New York 

Sex in Dress 169 

Herald of September 7, 1883, refers to bloomers 
as "eccentric habiliments, which hang loosely 
and inelegantly. . . making that which we have 
been educated to respect, to love, and to admire 
only an object of aversion and disgust."'' After 
the berated garment had been limited to bicycle 
use, I remember on one occasion the indignation 
of a tourist "ew bicyclette" who as I was going into 
a chateau in Touraine was being kept out — "d 
cause de mes culottes,'' she declared. And were 
not "all the kids in Bridgeport" after that en- 
terprising bicyclist, Molly Donahue ?s Nor are rid- 
ing breeches even now "established" everywhere. 
Riding last year in Hayti "salot'' was the "injure'* 
cast upon me by the less polite, and the other day 
in New Mexico my hostess, a most independent 
woman, asked me to put on my coat as we neared 
the town near her ranch, otherwise the priest 
would be preaching against her. I doubt if there 
is a street in this country in which any woman as 
frankly betrousered as Dr. Mary Walker could 
not collect a crowd or induce her own arrest ; and 
we have yet to hear of any board of aldermen re- 
pealing its customary ordinance against wearing 
attire improper to either sex, or of any judge 
refusing to fine or imprison such a disturber of the 

170 TKe Old-FasKioned W^oman 

At other times or places the offence has been 
more than a crowd-gatherer or a misdemeanour. 
In ancient Mexico "the man who dressed himself 
like a woman, or the woman who dressed herself 
like a man," was hanged.^ Gudruna's Icelandic 
lover Thord advises her to make her husband 
Thorwald a shirt with sleeves wide enough for 
it to be taken for a shift. She could then ask for 
a divorce on the ground that Thorwald wore 
female dress. ^ The Pelew Island goddess who 
put an apron of pandanus leaves upon her creature, 
First Woman, would certainly have punished her 
or her descendants if they took it off.^ No doubt 
the leafy coverings of Adam and Eve differed. 
At any rate, after Hebraic dressing becomes more 
elaborate, it is decreed that "the woman shall not 
wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither 
shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all 
that do are abomination unto the Lord."' 

Do we wonder that the wife of the Brownist pastor 
of Amsterdam who persisted in lacing her bodice 
to her petticoat, "as men do their doublets and 
their hose,"^° gave "an appearance of evil" to 
every Dutch Bible reader, or that their New York 
descendants, having relegated lacing entirely to 
women, scorn a corset-wearing male, or that the 
English swimming clubs of the Amateur Swim- 

Sex in Dress 171 

ming Association have decided that the regulation 
swimming costume of the women must be about 
two inches longer than the men's?" 

All these dress taboos are due, I suppose, to the 
distrust of primitive society about the natural 
differentiation of the sexes and to its never-fail- 
ing confidence in its own ability to control it. 
Among its means of control, ornament and clothes 
are of course very important. They probably 
originated as a way of calling attention to and 
emphasising sex. And they still serve not to 
hide but to set off sex, — except in those callings in 
which sexlessness was once a means to super- 
natural power or position and in which sex is 
hidden under clothes worn by the opposite sex* or 
by neither sex. 

We must also remember that conventional as 
dress may seem to us, to the more primitive it 
seems more than a mere form. Running through 
much of primitive thought is a theory of what has 
been called contagious magic. It is held that 
things which have been in contact become alike, 
get each other's traits, and are subject to each 
other's fortune. If, for example, you are by the 

* From this point of view Pearson's theory that priests wear 
petticoats to assimilate themselves with the priestesses whose 
place they have usurped {The Chances of Death, ix; Woman as 
Witch, II, 19. London and New York, 1897) is questionable. 

172 XHe Old-FasHioned A^oman 

way of practising black magic, you can harm your 
victim by bedevilling (or, in one of the civilised 
forms of black magic, by ridiculing) his finger- 
nail parings, his spittle, his hair cuttings, or his 
ornaments or clothes.* They are all such an 
intimate part of him that what you do to them 
works also on him. Furthermore, the mere wear- 
ing of the costume of a class or person or — sex may 
impart their traits. The Khyoungthas of India 
tell of a king and his men who, persuaded to dress 
up as women, were attacked and overcome with- 
out a blow.'^ And in order to subjugate the re- 
bellious Lydians Croesus advised Cyrus to order 
them to wear tunics under their cloaks and buskins 
about their legs,''^ a discipline which proved as 
effectual in changing their manners as that of 
Nurse when she makes her naughty little charge 
put on his sister's dress or hat. 

Is not part of the severity of this punishment 
due to the dread in the boy's mind that he will not 
merely look like but become like a girl? If an 
Australian Wiraijuri boy plays overmuch with 
girls, an old man takes him aside and pretends to ex- 

*I suggest that this is the explanation of the popularity of the 
method of discrediting a woman by describing her dress. This 
form of attack is used against men too, of course; but far less 
effectually, because a woman, social conservative as she is, is 
more identified with her clothes than a man. 

Sex in Dress 173 

tract from his legs strands of the woman's apron. ' ^ 
Among the Yaunde, a Cameroon tribe, uninitiated 
boys have to fasten banana leaves to their legs to 
indicate their likeness to women, ^^ humiliating 
reminders which are torn off after initiation with as 
much rejoicing as "putting on trousers" occasions 
with us. 

When the Galli devoted themselves to the cult 
of the Mother Goddess they were presented with 
a woman's outfit ^^; and wherever in savage tribes 
men from religious or other motives temporarily 
or permanently assimilate themselves with women, 
they have perforce to don women's clothes, 
whether for a day or a lifetime. 

Agnodice, the enterprising Athenian girl who 
studied medicine, cut off her hair and put on a man's 
habit. * '' The first woman to study medicine at the 
Sorbonne also dressed like a man, an example our 
own Elizabeth Blackwell was advised to follow, 
not as a disguise, but because, it was argued, it 
made the University men free to help her.** 
George Sand and many of the early Women's 
Rights women in the United States took to wearing 
modifications of men's dress. Their critics had 
a habit of urging an absolute interchange of petti- 
coats and breeches upon them all "to complete 
the system. "*' For example, the editor of the 

174 XHe Old-FasKioned W^oman 

Rutland Herald advertised in his paper that after 
Clarina Nichols had appeared before a committee 
of the Vermont Legislature asking for the vote for 
women in district school meetings, he intended to 
come forward and present her with a suit of men's 
clothes.^" The Judiciary Committee of the New 
York Assembly, to whom, in 1856, petitions for 
"women's rights" had been referred, reported that 
in cases where both husband and wife had signed 
the petitions "they would recommend the parties 
to apply for a law authorising them to change 
dresses, so that the husband may wear petticoats, 
and the wife the breeches, and thus indicate to 
their neighbours and the public the true relation in 
which they stand to each other. " ^ ' For some such 
reasons husband and wife actually do interchange 
garments in many places. We remember how 
during child-birth a German peasant puts on some 
of her husband's clothes and how a sympathetic 
Erukala-Vandhu husband puts on his wife's. A 
bridegroom dressed as a girl, in the Greek island 
of Cos, when he received his bride ; among the Masai 
he wore a girl's dress for a month after marriage. 
Argive brides wore false beards when they slept 
with their husbands.^* 

Where belief in the magical relation of clothes 
to personality persists, or where the suspicion is 

Sex in Dress 


strong that sex left to itself may vanish at any 
moment and dread of this disappearance pre- 
cludes toleration of any deviation from sex type, sex 
labels in dress will be made to stick. If, on the 
other hand, variation in personality ever comes to 
be considered more important than artificial 
distinctions of sex, or even an unvarying natural 
distinction, dress together with other sex labels 
or earmarks will soon wear off — ^and nobody will 



" AA/HAT'S in a name?" Much, very much, 
' ' and Juliet was indeed a very modem girl 
to even raise the question. In primitive culture 
it is often believed that the dead may be re- 
incarnated in the living through the appropriation 
of their name. Naming rites may determine a 
person's status and career. Then names are in 
themselves lucky or unlucky; a change of name 
will avert danger or bring one luck. An integral 
part of personality, a name may even affect 

Sometimes names are kept secret, in the belief 
that knowledge of them gives power over their 
bearer. Ghosts may be lured back to their old 
homes by their names. Whatever the reasons, 
liberties may under no circumstances be taken 
with the names of the mighty, dead or living, chiefs 
or gods. 

There are many name observances in family 

OtKer EarmarKs 177 

life. Sometimes fathers-in-law or mothers-in-law, 
sometimes brothers or sisters may not be mentioned 
by name. Husband and wife quite commonly 
avoid using each other's name. A Zulu woman 
may not address her husband by name, particularly 
by his i-gama or real name. If she does, she is 
liable to a charge of witchcraft and killed.^ In 
Nyasaland a woman will not even use a word synony- 
mous with her husband's name, and were she to 
call him by name it would keep her from conceiving. 
Batchelor made his Ainu acquaintances blush by 
asking them the names of their husbands. In the 
course of ten years he found out that it was con- 
sidered most disrespectful and extremely unlucky 
for an Ainu woman to mention her husband's name. 
In Southern India wives believe that to utter their 
husband's name even in a dream would bring him 
to an untimely end. Were a Nishinam husband 
to call his wife by name, she might divorce him.^ 
Mrs. Grantley of England always called her ecclesi- 
astical husband "archdeacon, "* and Mrs. Gaylord 
of New England thought of her husband and even 
dreamt of him as "Mr. Gaylord," and had never, 
in the most familiar moments, addressed him other- 
wise, f Squire and Mrs. Gaylord are of a past 

* TroUope, Anthony, The Warden, ch. 11. 
•t Howells, W. D., A Modern Instance, ch. iv. 

178 TKe Old-FasHionecl "Woman 

generation, but throughout the United States, ex- 
cept in a few streets in Eastern cities, husbands and 
wives still speak of each other to their acquaint- 
ances as well as to their servants as "Mr." and 
"Mrs.," and, travelling d deux, a man registers as 
* ' So-and-so and wife. ' ' Husband and wife also refer 
to each other as "my husband" or "my wife, " as 
"Father" or "Mother," "Poppa" or "Momma," 
as "my lord and master," "my better half, " or in 
certain circles as "the old man" or "the old 
woman," or merely "He" or "She." 

A Dyak couple also refer to each other as "He" 
or "She," if they are childless; otherwise as 
"father of So-and-so" or "mother of So-and-so. "^ 
A Hindu woman's periphrasis is "the master" or 
"the man of the house"; a Perak's, "house and 
house ladder"; an Ainu's, "my person" or "my 
man"; a Zulu woman's, "father of So-and-so;" 
a Zulu man's, "daughter of So-and-so."'' So 
reluctant is the Moslem to refer to his wife at 
all that he may do so via male pronoims. "He 
has pain in his back, headache, and he will not 
eat," said the Mufti of Beirut in asking Dr. Van 
Dyck to visit his ill wife. ^ The Ainu speaks of 
his wife as "my person slow of foot " or "my person 
at the lower side of the hearth"; the Tuyang 
speaks of his, as "the mean one of the inner room, " 

OtKer EarmarKs 179 

"my dull thorn," "the thorn in my ribs," to 
protect, it has been suggested, rather than to 
deride her.^ — Luther also refers to his Kate as 
"my rib. "7 

In speaking of a married woman, either to her 
husband or another, there often seems to be some 
hesitation about using her name. Such reluctance 
is sometimes de rigueur. It is good manners in 
speaking to an Ainu of his wife to call her his 
ketkimat, "female doer of the heart." The polite 
term in New Britain for another man's wife is 
literally "a number of small children," and, if 
you are especially polite, you always refer to a 
man's wife in the plural, monogamist though he 
be. Zulus call a girl who is only betrothed "mother 
of So-and-so. " In the New Hebrides, among the 
Todas, and in civilisation a married woman is 
referred to as the wife of So-and-so or by her 
husband's name.^ 

Pelew Islanders may not mention the names of 
married women at all or refer openly to them.' 
"A man can bear anything but the mention of 
his women," is an Arab saying. In speaking of 
any woman a Moslem adds ajellak Allah, "may 
God elevate you",'° a disinfectant formula. A 
Solomon Islander rarely pronounces any woman's 
name and then only in a low voice. ^ ^ In saluting 

i8o THe Old-FasKioned "Woman 

women a Hindu was not to refer to himself by 
name/* In China unrelated "male and female 
do not know each other's name; to find out a girl's 
name a man would have to ask her to marry him. ' ^ 

At primitive initiations youths are commonly 
given a new name, as our boys get a nickname 
at boarding-school. But an initiation name is 
generally less widely known than a nickname. 
It is kept secret from the non-initiates, i. e., the 
women and children. The time comes with us 
too, however, when either nickname or "baptis- 
mal" name is more or less taboo to the other sex. 
I am told that in a well-known Boston dancing- 
school, the boys and girls of a certain age are 
formally told that the time has arrived when it is 
proper for them to address one another only by 
their surnames. 

In love-making the great stress that is put on the 
use of the "Christian" name for the first time sug- 
gests how close an intimacy its use may, to be sure, 
involve. It appears to be also significant of a 
proprietary claim, and this may be the reason why 
men, particularly quite young men, are so shy 
about addressing a married woman by her "first" 
name. They probably feel, more or less uncon- 
sciously, that they are trespassing, misappropri- 
ating property. So they circumlocute or search for 

OtHer EarmarKs i8l 

a nickname for the lady. One wonders if, where a 
husband takes his wife's name, as among the 
Andamanese, ^ ■* the girls nickname him. 

Sometimes a "tomboy" is given a boy's nick- 
name, sometimes a "namby-pamby," a girl's; 
otherwise, sex is always very strictly observed in 
personal names. It, if nothing else, must appear 
in the name, and we never hear of even a feminist 

Salutations or modes of address are very apt to 
vary with sex. The Fijian man, as we have noted, 
greets you in quite different words from the 
Fijian woman. In Chinese salutations "the upper 
place was given to the left hand," by men, "to 
the right hand," by women. ^^ In addressing a 
man the Caff re woman always kneels. ^^ In 
addressing a woman an American takes off his hat 
and in genteel circles keeps it off until she tells him 
to put it on. Meeting a woman on the road an 
American turns out for her, whereas a Yao or an 
Ainu expects her to turn out for him. An Ainu 
woman is also expected to take off her headdress 
to a man, whether she knows him or not. Saluting 
an acquaintance, she covers her mouth with 
her hand and fixes her eyes on the groimd. ^ ^ In 
the Russian pale only the im orthodox Jewess 
looks a man in the eyes or shakes hands with 

i82 TKe Old-rasKioned W^oman 

him. '^ An American "lady gives her hand to a 
gentleman," writes the author of Sensible Etiquette, 
"if she wishes to, but she does not shake his hand 
in return." Nor should a gentleman grasp a 
lady's hand "too cordially." Moreover, ^^ young 
ladies should not offer their hands to men who are 
not relatives, unless imder exceptional circum- 
stances, such as after an absence of some weeks, 
or to especial friends."^' Whatever the circum- 
stances, handshaking is certainly less character- 
istic of American women than of American men. 
In this country, too, the ceremonial kiss of greeting 
is entirely confined to women. Girls are also 
taught that "How do you do?" is the only "lady- 
like" verbal greeting, and that in saluting a man 
it is their "privilege" to bow first. 
, Among savages, sex posture and gait and de- 
meanour in general have been but little observed. 
In civilisation they appear to be growing less 
marked. And yet some of these habits are too 
dependent upon dress, where sex differentiation, 
we have observed, is peculiarly persistent, to vary 
much of themselves. In bowing it would be 
almost impossible for a woman to remove her hat — 
even if she wished. Until recently she was loath 
to take it off at the play, and she still willingly 
acquiesces in the ecclesiastical requirement of 

OtKer EarmarKs 183 

keeping it on in church. It woxild be hard, I 
suppose, for a girl to climb a tree in a hoop skirt. 
A "hobble" skirt or a Japanese shigoki precludes 
a "mannish" stride, many " shirt-waists, " an 
overhand throw and, as Achilles once advertised 
the fact, any kind of a skirt will lead a woman to 
stop a ball in her own way. 

Still, even when "hobble" skirts are not in 
fashion, a woman walks from the hips instead of 
from the knees at some risk. It makes her look 
so unfeminine. And, as Tertullian once pointed 
out,""" a woman is expected to show modesty in 
her gait. 

We ask only for short steps from women, but in 
many places in taking them a vibratory movement 
is considered pleasing. Little Papuan girls are 
made to practise this gait for hours at a time, and 
always walk in this way when men are about. ^^ 
Had our own "Grecian bend" held its own, pro- 
bably our daughters would also have had to be 
trained to it. To dance at the angle acceptable 
in their day, our great-grandmothers must have 
needed considerable training. 

Dancing was the only form of gymnastic, I take 
it, they had. I suppose they never ran. An 
open-minded old lady said to me the other day 
that for her part she liked to see young women run. 

1 84 TKe Old-rasHioned ^Woman 

"Nowadays, you know," she added ingenuously, 
' ' they teach girls how to run. ' * Still ' ' Marathon ' ' 
races have not as yet been planned for girls, and a 
"grown woman" seen running for fun never fails 
to create amusement. But that in part may be 
because both sexes have begim to give up the use 
of their legs, too slow-going for modem require- 

There is also a growing indifference about lady- 
like positions in sitting. Girls are no longer taught 
that lounging is " imladylike " as well as ungraceful, 
that only the other sex may sit cross-legged, "a 
gentleman, of course, being allowed more freedom 
than a lady,"* or that it is bad form to show their 
ankles or to cross their knees, a change in good 
taste for which bicycling and cross-saddle riding 
are probably in a degree responsible. Where 
these pastimes have not been introduced, for 
example in Bengal or in China, women are pro- 
bably still expected to keep their legs parallel and 
to show the greatest possible modesty about their 

The demand for facility in fainting passed away 
with the eighteenth century, and other early 
requirements like taking a man's arm to "go out" 
or "in" to dinner or his hand to be ceremonially 

* Sensible Etiquette, p. 395. 

OtHer EarxnarKs 185 

passed up or down, over or through, out or in, 
are beginning to lose their vogue. Even the cere- 
monial positions in round dancing have lately- 
shown so many signs of passing that societies 
have been organised in their defence. 

Nowadays girls may whistle — or try to; but 
our grandmothers, told us, with little attention to 
rhyme, that 

Whistling girls and crowing hens, 
Never came to any good ends. 

In Bohemia and Saxony a girl's whistling once 
would have made the devil laugh, and in Austria, 
Our Lady, cry.^^ 

I am unaware of any present or past sex dis- 
tinctions in sneezing or coughing except that 
women are perhaps expected to sneeze or cough 
less obtrusively than men, just as a strident voice 
is peculiarly offensive in a woman. Hence Ameri- 
can school girls were once required to recite in 
accents "perfectly feminine,"^'' and in China a 
boy is taught to "respond boldly and clearly"; a 
girl, "submissively and low. "^^ 

But spitting in public was denied to women long 
before it became a questionable habit in men or 
prosecuted by boards of health. It is likely, too, 
that the American spittoon will continue to be 

1 86 XHe Old-FasHionecl "Woman 

a masculine property as long as tobacco chewing 
is a masculine specialty. Smoking is rapidly 
ceasing to be one. Among the Pueblo Indians 
only one woman in the pueblo, the Pujo or the 
"Woman," smokes ^^ and among the Thompson 
River Indians only women "strong in medicine" 
smoke, ^' but in civilisation the habit is no longer 
confined to one type. In most parts of the United 
States it is still thought "fast" for a woman to 
smoke, but smoking no longer makes her "fast." 
She has still to smoke, however, with discretion. 
She is limited to cigarettes and she may not smoke 
in public places. As late as 1908 a resolution 
against smoking by women in restaurants was 
unanimously adopted by the New York Board of 
Aldermen. Mayor McClellan vetoed this ordin- 
ance, but in New York and in other cities whose 
mayor or aldermen have shirked their respon- 
sibilities in regulating women's habits, although 
there are restaurants where women may smoke, 
they have usually to depend upon the connivance 
of waiters instructed not to "see " them. Moreover 
in private houses many women smokers are always 
careful to ascertain if there is any man present 
who does not ' ' like to see a woman smoke. ' ' Indeed 
I fancy that before long the formula "Do you 
object to my smoking?" at present quite pointless 

OtHer EarmarKs 187 

in a man's mouth will be appropriated by women 
and take on a new meaning. 

The prejudice against their smoking in public 
together with the lack of smoking accommo- 
dations for them — men have not as yet resigned 
their smoking-cars or rooms to women nor are 
any other places provided for them to smoke in — 
makes smoking somewhat difficult for women who 
are much before the public. They have to resort 
to many curious devices, such as the pretext of 
chronic indigestion after eating, or cigarette cases 
in the shape of "housewives." I once knew a 
conspicuous damsel who in spite of all her con- 
sideration of the public was found out. "No, I 
have never seen a lady smoke and I hope I never 
shall, " said my friend from the Middle West 
when she revealed to me this discovery. "But 
what can you expect of women, " she continued, 
"when the daughter of our President smokes and — 
takes wine?" 

This western lady herself drank whiskey toddies 
— her husband mixed excellent drinks and was 
always urging them upon her — but only when she 
had a twinge of rheumatism, and never in a mixed 
company. Rarely in the West, except in San 
Francisco, do men and women "take wine" 
together any more than they did in New York in 

i88 THe Old-FasKioned W^oman 

the days of Mrs. Pawkin's boarding-house, when 
the women arose in a bunch from their places 
side by side at the two o'clock dinner-table to go 
to their bedrooms, leaving the men to first fore- 
gather with their tooth-picks about the spittoons 
and then go on to the bar-room a block away.* 
The natives of Australia are equally punctilious. 
No man would drink out of a place where a woman 
drank. So the drinking-holes are made circular 
for the men and oval for the women, ^s 

In the United States the public water fountains 
are not differentiated for men and women, but 
"bars" are invariably closed to women. Many 
clergymen preach an annual sermon against 
"growing intemperance among women," and a 
drunken woman is universally held to be more 
"disgusting" than a drunken man. Detestable 
in all, the vice is "Prodigious in a Woman." f 

Men were inclined to be prohibitionists for 
women in fact long before women were for men. 
The Japanese cautioned their women against much 
drinking of wine or tea.^' The wife of Manoah 
is warned not to drink wine or strong drink. ^^ 
Rousseau's Sophie had never tasted them.f The 

* Martin Chuzzlewit, ch. xvi. 

t The Whole Duty of a Woman, p. 28. London, 1712. 

X Etniie, Bk. v. 

Other EarmarKs 189 

Hindus held that it was a "disgraceful fault" 
for a woman to "drink," and intimacy with her was 
a misdemeanour. After death she was reborn as a 
leech or a pearl-oyster. ^ ^ The Babylonian priest- 
ess who opened a wine-shop or even entered one for 
a drink was burned alive. ^^ (But her sacerdotal 
character may have had something to do with the 
rigour of this penalty, for the priesthood has always 
been formally restricted in its drinks.) Egnatius 
Mecennius was acquitted by Romulus for beating 
his wife to death after he caught her tapping a tun 
of wine. Another well-bom Roman lady was 
starved to death by her family for misappropriat- 
ing the keys of the wine-cellar. Cato states that 
men took to greeting their kinswomen with a kiss 
just to ascertain if they had been drinking ^^ — the 
Romans were so practical! 

Did Roman women, we wonder, have "soft 
drinks, " drinking syrop or tea instead of absinthe 
or "cocktails"? 

Eating as well as drinking is affected by sex. 
Were a Caroline Islander to eat blackbird, a 
favorite dish with the women, he believes he 
would lose his footing climbing cocoa trees. ^'' 
The men of West Victoria may not eat the 
grey bandicoot. ^^ All female animals and even 
hens and their eggs are taboo to Malekula 

igo XHe Old-FasKioned W^oman 

men. Once a Malekula died of anxiety after 
eating sow.^^ Bangala men may not eat sweet 
potatoes or frogs; or Dyaks, goat, fowl, or fern.''' 
If North Queensland women eat mullet or sting- 
aree, fishing of every kind turns bad.''* New 
Guinea women may not eat pork or dog flesh, the 
women of Unyamwezi, fowl ; of Ankole, antelope 
or buffalo; of the Sandwich Islands, cocoa or 
banana, turtle or hog. 3' In some Naga and 
Kabuis villages girls may not eat dog or goat or 
the flesh of any male animal.''" Nothing affronts 
a Mandingo woman more than offering her an egg. 
Egg eating would drive a Bayaka woman into the 
bush, a lunatic*^ In Fiji ^"^ and in several other 
cannibalistic communities human flesh is an 
exclusively masculine dish. With us no kind of 
meat is taboo to women, but men are supposed 
to care more than women for beef and to like it 
less cooked. With the taste "characteristic of her 
sex," Sophie ate very little meat. On the other 
hand, Sophie, like other girls too, was fond of 
"sweets," always of course in moderation. 

How peculiar to women this taste may be, I 
do not know, but, as a matter of fact, one never 
sees a man with a box of candy on a railway car 
or out driving or at the play, and when a man 
helps himself from a girl's box he is apt to remark 

OtHer £arxnarKs 191 

— apologetically — that he has ' ' a sweet tooth like 
a woman's. " 

Women usually eat less in general than men — 
sometimes because they have less to eat, sometimes 
from choice. A Lamotrek woman is forbidden 
to help herself to the first haul of fish. She knows 
that if she break this taboo her ankles will swell 
or elephantiasis will set in.''^ Eighteenth -century 
ladies had conventionally such light appetites 
that it was indelicate and unladylike to be hungry, 
and nowadays women are more apt than men to 

" Banting" is, of course, a matter of sexual selec- 
tion. Given our standards of feminine beauty, 
it is hard for a stout woman to be a "success" — 
wherever the women outnumber the men. This 
disproportion is undoubtedly the reason why a 
woman is so much more concerned over her own 
"figure" than over her husband's.* In fact we 
may expect to hear it said in course of time that 
God did not mean a woman to be fat, and mori- 
bund discussion over a "double code" may again 
wax lively. 

* Harvey, p. 25. 



\ A T^OMEN are an important item in primitive 
' ^ trade. Under the Australian betrothal 
system, a boy is expected to give his sister to one 
of the sons of his plighted mother-in-law. Later 
in life he gets another wife in exchange for a 
daughter. ^ Kinswomen are also exchanged in Su- 
matra. ^ In the Islands of Torres Straits, a match 
is readily made if the would-be bridegroom has a 
sister to marry to the girl's brother. ^ In Samoa, 
brides are bartered for canoes or pigs; among the 
Timor-laut, for elephants' tusks; among the 
Patagonians, for horses or silver trinkets; among 
the Indians of Oregon, for horses, blankets, or 
buffalo robes; among the Damaras, for cows; 
among the Samoyedes and Ostyaks, for reindeer; 
in Tartary, for horses, oxen, sheep or butter; in 
ancient Ireland and Wales, for vessels of gold or 
silver or bronze or for land.'' 

The bride-price is often more or less standard- 

Her MarKet Price 193 

ised. It is one goat among the Bondo, thirty 
among the Akikuyu plus five or six sheep. In 
Fiji it is a whale's tooth or a musket ; in the Man- 
goni country, two buck skins; in Uganda, three 
or four bullocks, a box of percussion caps, or six 
sewing needles; among the Kisans, one rupee and 
two baskets of rice^- among the Kabuis, seven 
buffaloes, two daos and two hoes, two shears, 
two food vessels, two black cloths, two ear orna- 
ments, two strings of conch shell beads and 
"meilon," i.e., some one thing of value ^ — in our 
terms a pearl necklace or a diamond tiara. 

But a tiara or a real pearl necklace many a man 
cannot afford for his bride. Among the Mishmis 
the bride-price is twenty oxen for a rich man, one 
pig for a poor man 7; and it ranges from four 
and a half ackies to two oimces of gold among 
the Tshis^; from three to thirty cows among the 
Caffres; from five to fifty roubles among the 
Chulims; from three thousand roubles to a cart- 
load of wood or hay among the Bashkirs. Among 
the Califomian Karok, a wife is seldom bought for 
less than half a string of dentalium shell, but if 
she belongs to an aristocratic family, if she is a 
skilful bread maker and basket weaver, and if she 
is pretty, she sometimes costs as high as two 
strings.' In the Venetian market the Italians of 

194 XHe Old-FasHioned "Woman 

the Renaissance paid from six to eighty-seven 
ducats for their concubines.^" 

A maximum bride-price is sometimes fixed. A 
Shastika Indian or a Navaho will not pay more than 
ten or twelve ponies for a bride. The Cheurfa 
Kabyle who accepts a greater bride-price than 
thirty-five reals, four sda of cheese, and four 
measures of oil, is fined one hundred reals. The 
bridegroom is fined the same amount and told to 
boot that he will die without sons. In the begin- 
ning of the nineteenth century the price of girls 
went up so high in Servia that Black George limited 
it to one ducat." 

It is likely that dowry and dower were orig- 
inally forms of a bride-price, the theory having 
developed that it was improper for the bride's 
family to keep the purchase money for themselves. 
Hence they passed it on to her or her bridegroom 
settled it on her in the first place. Among the 
Bagobos of the Philippines the bride's father 
returns half the bride-price to the groom if the 
marriage turns out well. In Oregon, the relatives 
of the bride always raise as many horses or other 
things for her dot as her bridegroom has sent her 
parents, taking great care not to turn over the 
same horses or things. ' ^ Manu says : ' ' When the 
relatives do not appropriate for their use the 

Her Market Price I95 

gratuity given, it is not a sale; in that case the 
the gift is only a token of respect and of kindness 
towards the maidens^^;" and in modem India, 
men of position lay cut the "gratuity" in jewels 
to give to their daughter on her wedding-day.^'' 

In many other places too the bride-price masks 
in wedding presents. In Florida, a Melanesian 
island, the bride's parents give her family-in-law 
from five to ten pigs in return for the rongo or 
coils of native money they have received, saying 
the money was for the pigs and not for the girl.^^ 
The Yorubas also repudiate the idea of selling 
their daughters; the wedding-gifts are merely 
to offset the loss to them of her services.*^ In 
Swahili opinion they are only to repay her mother 
for the cost of bringing her up. ^ ' Among us they 
are sometimes intended to give the bridal couple 
"a start in life, " but ordinarily they merely express 
the "interest" of the "family connection," and 
it is probably for this piupose rather than from 
mere economic ostentatiousness that they are 
ceremonially listed for the newspapers or dis- 
played in the "spare room." 

I have never heard of "placing down" or show- 
ing off the wedding-presents of a remarrying widow. 
With us, in fact, she receives but few. What 
are given, to be sure, she receives herself. Among 

196 XKe Old-Fashioned Woman 

many peoples the family of her deceased husband 
are the recipients. To them her second husband 
has to pay the equivalent of her original bride- 

It is quite usual for the bride-price of a widow to 
be lower than that of a virgin or even of a divorcee. 
A widow is depreciated by her liability to the death 
infection. She is damaged by corpse taboo. 
It often happens therefore that a widow is the 
only bride a poor man can afford. In primi- 
tive as well as in modern society, if for different 
reasons, a second husband is apt to be poorer — 
and younger — than a first. 

This differentiation may not hold, of course, 
when a man himself sells his wife to another. He 
is apt to ask for her as much at least as he orig- 
inally paid. He may be forbidden, as among 
the Kabyles, to ask for more. ^^ Where he gets 
another woman in exchange, as among the Eskimo, 
the equivalence is necessarily uncertain. In two 
of the recorded instances of wife-selling in England 
in the nineteenth century, the price was half a 
crown in the one case — the woman being sold in 
open market with a halter round her neck — and 
in the other, a two-gallon jar of gin — given by a 

In marriage, bride-price, dowry, and dower are 

Her MarKet Price 197 

"settlements;" they are paid over once for all. 
Pecuniary transactions in other sex relations, on 
the other hand, although sometimes quite defi- 
nitely regulated, are more or less continuous. The 
fact that their scale depends primarily upon the 
personal qualifications of the woman is another 
way of differentiating them from marriage trans- 
actions. A prostitute's income or social connec- 
tions count for less than a wife's, although prices 
are probably much higher in the house of a com- 
petent than in that of an incompetent "madam. " 

Then too the exclusiveness of a prostitute 
enters largely into her price. As exclusive as a 
well-behaved wife, she may be even more expensive. 
In Borneo, a man who keeps a bilian, a dancing 
and singing girl, sometimes goes bankrupt through 
her demands.^** 

On the other hand, thoroughly commercialised, 
her price may be extremely low. It is fixed by 
law at a mere pittance in Dahomi, for example, 
part of it at that being paid over in the form of 
an annual tax to the king, ^' In Chicago, the 
brothel charges are fifty cents, one dollar, five 
dollars, half going to the prostitute and half to 
the keeper of the house. ^^ Jane Addams tells 
the story of a Chicago factory girl earning six 
dollars a week who tried in vain for seven months 

198 THe Old-FasKioned "Woman, 

to save enough for a pair of shoes. Twice during 
this time she had her old shoes resoled. When 
they became too worn out to stand a third soling, 
and she had but ninety cents towards a new pair, 
she gave in and, to use her own phrase, "sold out 
for a pair of shoes. " For even less, for a ride on 
the merry-go-round, or an entrance ticket to a 
moving picture show, many a little girl has been 
entrapped by a city pander. ^^ 

Slave girls are distinguished from prostitutes 
by the multiplicity of their functions and by their 
dependence, or, if the modem white-slave traffic 
be under comparison, by the singleness of their 
dependence; from wives, by the subordination 
of themselves and their offspring in the house- 
hold. Although their functions are more varied, 
their price is usually lower than that of male 
slaves.* The price-list of a Richmond slave 
auctioneer in 1853 was, for his young men, from 
$950 to $1300, for his young women, only from 
$800 to $1000. His boys ranged from $375 to 
$950; his girls from $350 to $850. '^^ A few 
years later when the price of slaves had gone up, 
and an able man sold as high as $1800 or $2000, 
the lowest price quoted at a sale was $1140 for 

* Definite information on this point about slaves, outside of 
modern civilisation, I have been unable to get. 

Her MarKet Price 199 

one " Olivia. " ^ ^ But slave women who had marked 
sex qualifications sometimes went much higher. 
Harriet Martineau tells how a southern lady of 
her acquaintance sold one of her house slaves, 
a very pretty mulatto, to a guest who had fallen 
in love with her, for $1500. Asked the price of a 
beautiful young quadroon who was being held for 
sale at Alexandria, the slave dealers said: "We 
cannot afford to sell the girl Emily for less than 
$1800. . . We have two or three offers for Emily 
from gentlemen from the South. She is said to 
be the finest looking woman in this country. " 
On the other hand, a woman of thirty who had 
borne five children was selling at this time for 
only $650.^^ 

When the wage system takes the place of slavery 
the prices of women are lowered. Sex is no longer 
an economic asset. * Except on the variety stage or 

* In a recent comparison of the earnings of Chicago working girls 
and prostitutes its commercialised value is plainly expressed. 
The average employee in a department store earns $7 a week; 
the average income of one hundred prostitutes, described in the 
Vice Commission's Report, ranged from $50 a week to, in 
exceptional cases, $100 (Addams, p. 68). Miss Addams has cal- 
culated that the average Chicago working girl may be capi- 
talized at $6000; the average Chicago prostitute at $26,000 
(ib., p. 58)- 

I have no figures at hand on the weekly income of the London 
prostitute; but it is safe to assume that it is far more than los., 
the "customary" wage of the English factory woman (Hobhouse, 

200 THe Old-rasKioned Woman 

in an occasional store or factory, women employees 
are sexually independent of their employer. On 
he other hand the demands of husband or offspring 
or in the case of the unmarried the expectation of 
marriage are a handicap to the woman wage- 
earner. Exclusion from a more or less large 
number of occupations, thanks to the comparative 
immobility of women workers, to popular pre- 
judices against them, and to their own apathy and 
notions of gentility, also depresses women's wages, 
increasing the labor supply at certain points over 
the demand. Traditions in certain circles that a 
woman is not entirely dependent on her wages, in 
others, that no lady should work for her living, and 
that "a gentleman's time is much more valuable 
than a lady's," also militate against the theory of 
equal pay for equal work. Whatever the causes, 
women's wages in all grades of work tend to be 
lower than the wages of men, a disproportion 
recently recognised by the English National In- 
surance Act in providing that the employer should 
pay from six to twelve cents a day into the general 
fund for a workman, from six to ten cents a day 
for a workwoman. Among employees earning 
more than sixty cents a day, the class in which 

J. A., The Evolution of Modern Capital, p. 309. London and 
New York, 1902). 

Her MarKet Price 201 

the employer pays six cents for both sexes, the 
men contribute eight cents, the women, six. 

Blood-money as well as wages expresses the com- 
parative economic value of women. Among the 
Moslems a woman's blood-money is half a man's. 
Among the Moslem Galla, for example, it is fifty 
oxen; a man's, one hundred. ^^ For a pregnant 
Somali woman it is one hundred cows, if she is 
carrying a boy, if a girl, fifty cows.^' According 
to Cambrian law a woman's blood-money was half 
a man's, her brother's; according to the laws of 
the Brets and Scots it was equal to her brother's 
if she was unmarried, but married, less than two 
thirds her husband's.^" Among the Wanika, a 
man's blood-money is four slaves or twelve milch 
cows, a woman's, three slaves or nine milch cows. ^^ 
Sick benefit in the English National Insurance 
Act is IDS. a week for men, 7s. 6d. for women. 

Now and again the comparative estimates of 
the sexes are expressed quantitatively in terms 
still more naive. In Sarae, the birth of a boy is 
heralded with seven ceremonial shouts of joy, 
that of a girl with five.^^ In Samoa, too, a birth 
is announced by shouting, five war-cries for a boy, 
two or three for a girl.^^ To the temple of Jimo 
a Roman father had to pay a quadrans for a girl 
baby, a sextans for a boy. ^-^ In the old ecclesiasti- 

202 XKe Old-rasKioned "Woman 

cal law of England which forbade conjugal intimacy 
after child-birth, the period was thirty days for a 
son, fifty-six for a daughter. ^^ j^ ^^g Naga 
village of Liyai twins of either sex are lucky, but 
girl twins bring luck only to their parents, boy 
twins to all the villagers.-'^ Formerly in Swit- 
zerland, a father got one waggon -load of wood for a 
girl, two for a boy. " In the scheme for the appor- 
tionment of funds between the grammar and high 
schools of Bedford, England, on the basis of 
attendance three boys earned the same amount as 
five girls ^^; and before the present salary bill was 
passed the New York women teachers of boys' 
classes were given a bonus of sixty dollars a year 
— it being argued no doubt both in Bedford and 
New York, not that boys were more worth while 
teaching, but that they were more difficult to teach 
than girls. — But for our habit of rationalising our 
ancestral ways how difficult it would sometimes be 
for us to "save our face." 


"once our superior" 

"PROM blood-money or wages we get the com- 
*■ parative economic values of the sexes. Their 
comparative values in general are aften expressed 
in popular sayings or in literary floiirish. "Better 
than a thousand women is one noble man," 
reasoned Iphigenia^ as she went to her death. 
" The glamour of a man is a sevenfold glamour" — in 
Japan. ^ "One man is as good as five women," 
according to the Tarahuamaras of Mexico.^ A 
wife is half the body of her husband, a woman half 
a man, held Hindu "* and early Christian. ^ "The 
whole world was made for man, but the twelfth 
part of man for woman. Man is the whole world, 
and the breath of God ; woman the rib and crooked 
piece of man," said the Christian of the seventeenth 
century.^ "When nature divided the human 
race into two parts, she did not cut it exactly 
through the middle!" said a philosopher of the 
nineteenth, t 

* Browne, Thomas. Religio Medici, Pt. n, Sect. ix. 

t Schopenhauer, On Women. 


204 TKe Old-FasHioned W^oman 

Although the comparison is not always as frank 
as a numerical proportion, in any disparagement of 
woman the superiority of man is of course implicit. 
She is criticised for falling short of the masculine 
standard. About her shortcomings, whatever the 
reasons, men* have shown a striking unanimity 
of opinion. Against her they make perhaps five 
main counts. She is found to be unreliable or 
untrue, unreserved, unintelligent or unenlightened, 
immagnanimous, uncourageous or unenterprising. 

Double-tongued like a woman, is a slur often 
in the mouth of the American Indian. "Full of 
continual tricks, deceitful speeches and all other 
kinds of hypocrisy" are women, says the Essene 
Jew. ^ Because of their apish or their snaky origin 
they are necessarily false, assert the Algerian 
Arab and the Bulgarian peasant.^ "They laugh 
with him who laughs, weep with him who weeps, 
with sweet words lay hold on him who dislikes them, 
all according to the requirements of the situation " ; 
they "continually change their minds;" they are 
"fickle and wavering"; they "call falsehood truth, 
and truth falsehood," according to the Hindu, be 
he Brahman, Gaina, or Buddhist.^ " Souvent 
femme varie'" ; "la donna e mobile''; "a woman's 
'no' by candlelight is not the same by day." 

* And women, too, of course. 

**Once 0\jr Sxiperiors** 205 

The penalties imposed upon prying women by 
primitive secret society men are so harsh that we 
can but infer that long before Eve or Pandora or 
Elsa von Brabant became a by-word, men thought 
of women as * ' curious. " But women not only want 
to find out secrets, they cannot keep them. The 
Arunta youth has to wait a long time to be initiated 
into the tribal mysteries if he is irkun oknirra, 
" given to chattering like a woman. " ^ In proof of 
his version of Eve's origin, the Hungarian peasant 
tells you a secret has as much chance tied to a dog's 
tail as on a woman's tongue.^" The Buddhist is 
as thoroughly convinced as the Christian that if 
you tell a woman a secret it at once ceases to be 

" Women will talk" — of everything. "People 
strongly affirm that not a single silent woman has 
been found in any age up to this day," remarks a 
lady in one of the plays of Plautus.* "With the 
tongue seven men are not a match for one woman," 
is the Humanist statementf of a theme that has 
had many variations. 

La plupart des femmes disent peti en heaucoup 
de paroles y^"" It goes without saying, however, 
that some women are more garrulous than others. 
Otherwise a Hindu would not be formally instructed 

*Aultdaria. t Erasmus, Colloquies. 

2o6 XHe Old-Fashionecl "Woman 

not to marr}'- a chatterbox/'' or a Chinaman or 
Japanese, unluckily married to one, would not be 
entitled, as he is, to divorce her. ^"i 

"A woman talks of everything as if she knew 
all about it." And yet a woman has only the 
knowledge of a Sudra, opines the Hindu. She is as 
unable to master Sanskrit as a rope of lotus fibre 
an elephant. ^^ "Educate a girl! You might as 
well attempt to educate a cat!" exclaimed a 
Tripoli Moslem when Dr. Jessup asked him to send 
his daughters to school.'^ "The fetichisms and 
superstitions of this world are bolstered up mainly 
by women," observed in 1872 the more optimistic 
trustees of Cornell University in their report in 
favor of a college for women. '^ "Ideas are like 
beards — women and young men have none," said 
Voltaire. "Tell that to women and children." 
" You cannot reason with a woman . " "A woman ' s 
reason is 'because,' " and even "when they are 
equal to primary reasoning, when hard pressed 
they will take a swift leap past what they consider 
a captious contradiction to a congenial conclu- 
sion ' ' ' ^ — such is " woman ' s logic . " 

The lack of magnanimity in women is defined 
and dealt with in a variety of ways. Victorian 
boys may eat no female quadruped lest it make 
them peevish and discontented.'' To the Arab 

"Once 0\ir Sxiperiors** 207 

a woman is one "who is always in contention 
without obvious cause." ^° Solomon fled from 
her to the house top; the less patient European 
ducked her or bridled her tongue with a pair of 
branks. ^^ Discontent, jealousy, and slander are 
three of the five maladies the Japanese believe 
to infest seven or eight out of every ten women, 
and from which ''arises the inferiority of women 
to men."*^ "Sweet is revenge — especially to 
women," ^3 writes the English poet, enough like 
them certainly to understand them. Malice was 
one of the unattractive traits Manu allotted to 
women when he created them.*'' Hence to the 
Brahman there was "no friendship with women " — 
"theirs are the hearts of hyenas." *s — When Abby 
Kelly argued against slavery from the public plat- 
form, she too was called a hyena in ecclesiastical 

"Frailty, thy name is woman!" The Thomp- 
son River Indians called men who shirked going 
on an avenging death-raid, "women." ^^ jf ^^ 
Australian boy cries when his tooth is being 
knocked out during his initiation the women 
themselves taunt him with being a girl. ''^ Among 
the Kuki-Lushai clans of Assam, the killer of a 
tiger performs a ceremony to enslave the feline 
ghost in the spirit world. He begins by disguis- 

2o8 THe Old-FasKioned "Woman 

ing himself as a woman, for if the tiger believes 
he has been shot by a woman he will be humble^' 
— like the modem boy who has been beaten by a 
girl . In woman ' * energy or vital power is extinct , ' ' 
declared the Hindu, and prescribed that when she 
was literally dead her biirial mound was to be as 
high as the hips, whereas a Kshatrya's reached as 
high as a man with upstretched arms, and a 
Brahman's up to the mouth — ''for such like is 
their vigor." ^^ 

Many another classification of woman is more 
or less significant of her valuation or status in the 
commimity. Arraigned with her by the Hindu 
as undependable, were "a lustful, angry, timid 
or bewildered man," he "who seeks for gain," a 
drunkard, eunuch, and a child. ^^ And not alone 
in knowledge, but in many other attainments the 
Hindu woman is rated with a Sudra, the lowest of 
the castes. At one time the Athenians forbade 
the study of medicine to women and slaves. ^^ 
Oberlin College, the first American college to be 
so minded, opened its courses to negroes and 
women at the same time. Not long ago an Amer- 
ican President was hissed at a convention of 
women for his reference in one breath to the en- 
franchisement of women and of Filipinos — or was 
it Hottentots? The Moslem rule forbids a fool, a 

** Once Our Sxiperiors ** 209 

madman, or a woman to summon the faithful to 

As a corollary to such classifications of woman, 
to be classified with her is belittling or derogatory. 
To make a refractory schoolboy sit with the girls 
is no trifling punishment. Public agitations or 
movements are sometimes discredited in the same 
way. One of the most biting taunts of the anti- 
abolitionists was a reminder to their opponents 
that they were associated with women. The Bull 
Moose party has been subject to sarcasm of the 
same kind. " To-morrow at noon there will 
open in the Coliseum a convention managed by 
women and has-beens," states the Times news- 
paper* of the first Bull Moose Convention. 
" Everybody who is not an ex is a woman . . . 
outside of the ex's the women are running things. 
It is to be a woman's convention." But although 
"its people are petticoated or backnumbered," 
don't "jeer" at them, counsels the paper, whether 
in irony or in discernment is somewhat uncertain. 

Like all classifications or generalisations, the 
foregoing not only frame but breed ideas. Lan- 
guage is sometimes a very mirror of this mental 
process in relation to female character. Caroline 
Islanders very frequently use their word for woman, 

* August 5, 1912. 


2IO XKe Old-FasKioned ^Woitian 

li, in compound words for qualities or actions held 
in light esteem. Li-kam means a woman's fault, 
i. e., a lie; li-porok, a woman's peering, i. e., 
curiosity. ^^ The Chinese affix their word for 
woman to many of their uncomplimentary ad- 
jectives, ^ ^ a device we but clumsily approximate 
with our "like a woman," relying upon such ad- 
jectives as "womanish" or "effeminate" for 
greater emphasis. 

Then too women try hard to live down to what 
is expected of them. In fact deviation from these 
expectations are not tolerated by either sex. Is 
not an "unwomanly" woman publicly more 
disesteemed and berated than a fickle or tricky 
or petty woman, than an ignoramus, a coward, 
or a chatterbox? 

Of course "womanly" traits have to appear 
respectable. A change of name and a few orna- 
ments do as much for them as for those they 
characterize. "It is a woman's privilege to 
change her mind," we say with an indulgent 
smile. That tact is indispensable to a woman 
may not be controverted, and the expedient 
deceit straightway finds a cloak. A woman ought 
to be "responsive" and vivacious, and so talk of 
any kind, providing it aims to please, "passes." 
That girls should be unsophisticated and innocent 

"Once Ovir Superiors " 211 

is a theory that makes any degree of ignorance 
supportable. Since a woman is "always a parti- 
san," she may not be held to task for malice or 
intolerance. And then "nerves" preclude any 
searching analysis of disposition. Deficiencies in 
good taste, enterprise, or courage are due to 
"common-sense," "adaptability," or "refinement." 
Nor can much be asked of one who is "delicate" 
or whose "modesty" has to be safeguarded. 

" Womanly" traits are protected by the social 
machinery as well as by euphemisms. 

It is a truism that responsibility must be given 
to be taken. Themselves a form of property in 
communities where private property is at all well 
developed, women's rights to property either in 
tribal groups or in early civilisations are rarely equal 
with men's. Until 1882 an Englishman controlled 
his wife's earnings. In most of the United States 
a married woman is not permitted to enter into a 
business partnership exclusive of her husband's 
interests, and in general the courts do not favor 
a woman acquiring earnings for her separate use 
without her husband's consent. In Sweden, a 
husband still owns whatever his wife buys with her 
earnings. ^^ 

Since children, like women, are usually con- 
sidered a form of property, a mother has seldom 

212 XKe Old-KasKioned "Woman 

the same rights as a father.* Both the Babylo- 
nian and the Roman father could sell their children 
— without maternal consent. (The Babylonian 
could sell the mother of his children too.)^^ A 
French mother has no legal authority at all over 
her children during their father's lifetime and 
after his death she has to share her control with 
his kindred. ^^ In our common law a mother is 
not entitled, like a father, to the services and 
earnings of minors, and in some States a father 
can still will away the guardianship of his child 
from its mother. In all the States a father has 
the paramoimt right of custody. 

Outside of her family, the law too gives a woman, 
particularly a married woman, few responsibilities. 
Among the Hindus no document was evidence 
which had been executed by a woman. Nor might a 
woman be a witness. ^ ^ Among many African tribes 
women are not allowed to testify. ^^ English women 
might not serve as witnesses until the eighteenth 
century; nor Italian women, in civil suits, until 
1877."° Caff re women are never proceeded 
against for crime. Among the Bogos a woman 
may not be punished even for murder. ""^ Hindu 
women might not undergo ordeals by water or by 

* Even under the matriarchate it is a woman's kinsmen who 
control her offspring. 

"Once 0\ir Sviperiors" 213 

poison."' Among the Somali, women unlike men 
criminals are never sentenced to receive corporal 
punishment.''^ In English common law a woman 
might commit certain crimes before her husband 
and not be held responsible for them, the presump- 
tion being he had coerced her. 

We allow women to serve as witnesses or to 
stand for trial like a man ; although the courts still 
disincline to permit a personal judgment against 
a married woman, and for many years an American 
jury would not condemn a woman to death. 
Even now it is more difficult to get a conviction 
for crime against a woman than against a man. 
" They have n't th' right iv a fair thrile be a jury 
iv their peers; but they have th' priv'lege iv an 
unfair thrile be a jury iv their admirin infeeryors," 
says Mr. Dooley. •'•' 

When duelling was in fashion, it was only a very 
indirect means of holding women to accountability, 
and the opinion still prevails alike in the drawing- 
room and in the court-room* that you cannot hold 
a woman responsible for what she says. Schopen- 
hauer questioned in fact whether they should ever 
be allowed to take an oath, ''^ a doubt our Customs 
officials seem also to entertain. 

* Consider how rarely libel suits are ever brought against 
women, and how seldom women are tried for perjury. 

214 XKe Old-FasKioned Woman 

Nor is a man himself always responsible for 
what he says to a woman. In English common 
law, marriage voids all prematrimonial contracts, 
nor can a man make a covenant of any kind with 
his wife.''^ The Hindus formally allow a man to 
"swear falsely" to the woman he desires and to 
"speak an untruth at the time of marriage, during 
dalliance."''^ With us too all is still fair in love 
■ — if not in war — and most men consciously or 
unconsciously feel that "a little exaggeration" is 
a propriety of courtship — as well as of marriage 
vows. To no woman must a warrior show his 
whole mind, is the creed of the Ona tribesman of 
Tierra del Fuego.'*^ 

Reserve is, in truth, a by-product of war; not 
"to give oneself away," a habit engendered by 
competition. As a rule women are shut out from 
competition, except for men, and coyness is the 
only kind of reticence of any use to them, and that 
within limits. Reticence not based on the desire 
to attract nms the risk in fact of passing for 
"strongmindedness," a trait always deprecated 
in a woman. Perhaps for fear lest they acquire 
it, Chinese women are told that the "stillness" 
with which they may overcome men is "a sort 
of abasement.""" Miri women are more frankly 
forbidden to eat the flesh of tiger. ^° 

"Once 0\ir Sviperiors" 215 

One wonders if tiger would keep a woman from 
asking questions or succumbing in argument, — 
methods adopted by most occidental women to 
show they are not "strongminded." Australian 
women show it by expressing voluble surprise, — 
an Australian man is trained never to be taken 
by surprise, 5' — Chinese women, by "peeking" — 
"firm correctness" in a woman, but "a thing to 
be ashamed of in a superior man."^" 

In ancient China boys went to school at ten, 
but girls stayed at home to learn from their gover- 
nesses "pleasing speech and manners," to handle 
hemp and silk, "to watch the sacrifices, to supply 
the liquors and sauces, — to fill the various stands 
and dishes with pickles and brine, and to assist 
in setting forth the appurtenances for the cere- 
monies." ^^ Outside of China, too, girls have been 
educated at home, until comparatively lately, and 
their education as a rule limited to the "domestic 
sphere." Even when they have become learned in 
foreign subjects, they are often advised to conceal 
their knowledge, for in women there should be "a 
modesty about learning almost as delicate as that 
which inspires them with a horror of vice."* 

" Je consens qu'une femme ait des clartds de tout; 
Mais je ne lui veux point la passion choquante 

*F6nelon, De VEducation des Filles, ch. vii. 

2i6 TKe Old-FasKioned "Woman 

De se rendre savante afin d'etre savante; 

Et j'aime que souvent, aux questions qu'on fait 

Elle sache ignorer les choses qu'elle sait: 

De son 6tude enfin je veux qu'elle se cache; 

Et qu'elle ait du savoir sans vouloir qu'on le sache." * 

Fenelon and Moliere find support too in English- 
speaking countries. The author of The Whole 
Duty of a Woman, for example, commends the 
affectation of ignorance — on certain subjects — as 
a sure and invincible guard against that curiosity 
which ' ' soil'd Humane Nature in Paradise. " ^ " And 
Dr. Gregory of Edinburgh advises his daughters, 
if they happen to have any learning, to "keep 
it a profound secret, especially from the men, 
who generally look with a jealous and malignant 
eye on a woman of great parts, and a cultivated 
understanding. " ^ s 

Dr. Gregory seems to us a little severe and not 
very profound, but the Blue-Stocking, we must 
admit, is apt to be an object of derision. "A 
wise woman is twice a fool ... as paniers don't 
become an ox, so neither does learning become 
a woman," declaims the sixteenth century Ger- 
man abbot. " The woman who thinks is like 
a man who rouges — ridiculous," is the way his 
modem countryman puts it. " How generous 

* Moliere, Les Femmes Savantes. Act i, sc. iii. 

"Once Ovir Superiors'* 217 

the conduct of Mrs. — , " says Sidney Smith, of 
some lady in favour. "As a Hterary woman, [she] 
might be ugly if she chose, but is as decidedly 
handsome as if she were profoundly ignorant, I 
call such conduct honourable." 

The theory of incompatibility between good 
looks and a good education has always been a 
bugbear. Even when it is admitted that educa- 
tion may not of itself destroy a girl's looks, some- 
how or other it is thought to handicap her in 
the matrimonial market. "If all the men in the 
world were sensible, every girl of letters would 
remain unmarried all her life," is the last word 
Rousseau has to say about the education of women. 
"I shall not have Maria brought too forward. 
If she knows too much, she will never find a hus- 
band; superior women hardly ever can," Margaret 
Fuller represents an enlightened American father 
saying in the fifties. ^^ A half -century later the 
same kind of father is saying: As a girl's "highest 
development and greatest usefulness are likely 
to come with marriage . . . pursuits that preju- 
dice the chances of her marrying are on that 
accotmt the less desirable for her."* A college 
education may keep her too busy or preoccupied 
to meet or notice the right man," Mr. Martin 

* Martin. 

2i8 THe Old-FasKioned A^Voman 

continues, deviating, like a gallant American, from 
the earlier view* that it was the man who was 
inappreciative of his opportunities. 

And yet attempts to reconcile educating girls 
with getting them properly married have not been 
lacking. There is none, I think, more valiant 
than Ruskin's: "A woman, in any rank of life, 
ought to know whatever her husband is likely to 
know, but to know it in a different way.f . . • 
Speaking broadly, a man ought to know any lan- 
guage or science he learns, thoroughly, while a 
woman ought to know the same language, or 
science, only as far as may enable her to sympa- 
thise in her husband's pleasures and in those of 
his best friends." ^^ 

Next to the matrimonial argument against 

* And the English view. Mr. Higginson tells the story of how 
after having been shown over a girls' college by its head, a visiting 
Englishman said to her in an undertone: " All this is very inter- 
esting, very interesting, indeed, but what effect has this higher 
education upon — upon their chances?" "Upon their chances?'' 
the dean naively asked, "chances of what?" " Why, of course," 
answered the Englishman, "their chances of getting a husband." 
(Women and Men, p. 65.) 

t This idea had already been carried out, according to Margaret 
Fuller. " Women are now taught, at school, all that men are," 
she is quoted as saying, "but with this difference: men are 
called on, from a very early period, to reproduce all that they 
learn. . . . But women learn without any attempt to reproduce. 
Their only reproduction is for purposes of display." — Memoirs 
oj Margaret Fuller Ossoli, i., 329. 

**Once 0\ir Superiors " 219 

educating girls, its first cousin, the modesty 
argument, has been perhaps the most reiterated 
and the most telling. Mary Wollstonecraft 
mentions a lady, for example, who vehemently 
asserted to her that instruction in "the modem 
system" of botany was "impossible" for modest 
girls. 5 9 And in the United States, in the 'thirties, 
people were still wondering how a well brought 
up girl could attend lectures on the subject.^" 
In 1844 Paulina Wright gave public lectures here 
upon physiology. When she uncovered her mani- 
kin, ladies would drop their veils or run from the 
room; sometimes they "fainted. "^^ Half a cent- 
ury later a New York physician confesses that 
for years he has been puzzled by the "practical" 
question of how to teach the functions of the 
body to growing girls, "and still leave them their 
modesty." ^^ Having reached the limits set for 
the girls' class in arithmetic, an early nineteenth- 
century maiden once appealed to an older brother 
for help. "I am ashamed of a girl who wants to 
study interest," said he, ^^ no doubt making her 
feel even more "ashamed," poor girl. 

As late as 1884 it was argued that "to attend 
medical clinics in company with men, women must 
lay aside their modesty."^'' About this time the 
President of the British Medical Association, in 

220 THe Old-KasHioned \S^oman 

referring to medicine as a profession for women, 
said publicly that he shuddered to hear of what 
the ladies were attempting to do. "One can but 
blush, and feel that modesty, once inherent in 
the fairest of God's creation, is fast fading away." ^^ 
Of this same period must have been the lady who 
had learned to swim — to the horror of her clergy- 
man. " But," she said, "suppose I was drowning." 
"In that case," he replied, "you ought to wait 
until a man comes along and saves you."^^ 

A narrow experience does not make for magna- 
nimity, and life in close family quarters is not 
good for one's temper. Native Australian girls 
may never leave home unless accompanied by a 
relative. ^7 At ten a Chinese girl "ceased to go 
out."^^ The Ewe term for mother is " She-who- 
stays-in-the-house."^' A well-bred Japanese 
woman was directed to "be constantly in the 
midst of her household, and never go abroad but 
of necessity." Without her husband's permission, 
"she must go nowhere."^'* In the great houses of 
ancient Mexico, "if the women went one step 
without the door [of their own apartments], they 
were punished as were those that looked up, or 
behind them."'* The Babylonian woman who 
"gadded about" was thrown into the water. '^ 
The Egyptian, like the Babylonian woman, had 

"Once Our Superiors** 221 

unusual rights, but among them was not included 
that of visiting without her husband's consent.''^ 
"Teach the young women ... to be keepers 
at home," 7'' advised Paul, and we remember he 
did not spare the flighty widows who enjoyed 
paying visits. To the Hindu, rambling abroad, 
a "disgraceful fault," was one of the six causes of 
the ruin of a woman, and it was a woman's duty 
"not to stand near the doorway or by the windows 
of her house." Against such evil inclinations 
she had to be guarded. " By night and by day 
she must be watched by her mother-in-law 
and other wives belonging to the family." 's 
To Pontanus, the Renaissance poet, as to Hindu, 
an unbolted casement was "the door to vice." 
' ' Why should I admonish you to shun the seduction 
of windows?" he queries in Latin verse. ''^ With 
much approval the German philosopher quotes 
the English poet who writes that women "ought 
to mind home — and be well fed and clothed — but 
not mixed in society."* Once upon a time an 
English woman or an American who went visiting 
without the approval of her husband subjected 
her host to a suit for damages and to imprison- 
ment for two years. Even were she to miss her 

* Schopenhauer, On Women. Quoting Lord Byron, Letters 
and Papers, by Thomas Moore, 11, 339. 

222 TKe Old-FasKionecl "Woman 

way upon the roads, unless she were benighted 
and in danger of being lost or drowned, hospitality 
might not be lawfully proffered to her. ''^ To-day 
in Russia, a wife cannot get a passport without 
marital consent.''^ 

Courage is in all communities one of the most 
valued of traits — perhaps because the race started 
as such arrant cowards. But it is always consid- 
ered far more important for the men than for 
the women to be brave. Little if any ignominy 
falls upon a timid woman and rarely is a girl 
trained to be bold. The youths of many a savage 
tribe are forbiddden to eat the heart or other parts 
of deer or of other timid creatures, a taboo not 
laid upon their sisters. Nor, as far as I know, are 
women ever given the flesh of brave enemies to 
eat, a favorite way with devotees of sympathetic 
magic of growing brave. On a recent visit to the 
New Mexican pueblo of Santa Clara I was told 
of still another way. As little boys, the Santa 
Clara Indians washed in running water, believing 
that thus the free and gallant spirit of the water 
became theirs. "And the girls?" I asked. " The 
girls? Oh, they were quite free to wash in stag- 
nant water." In it English girls might have been 
made to wash a century or so ago — had the Santa 
Clara theory of water prevailed in England. 

** Once Ovir Sviperiors ** 223 

" That bold, independent, enterprising spirit, 
which is so much admired in boys should not, 
when it happens to discover itself in the other sex, 
be encouraged, but suppressed," writes Hannah 
More, ^^ pioneer though she was. 

Important as water or food may be in develop- 
ing courage, experience and independence are 
also factors — factors most women have to forego. 
Greek women and, before their latter-day emanci- 
pation, Roman women were, of course, ever under 
guardianship. Until the middle of the nineteenth 
century guardianship for unmarried women existed 
in most European countries. In the law of 
countries as "advanced" for women as the 
Netherlands, Finland, or Sweden, marital guardian- 
ship still exists. From English and American 
law it has disappeared, but "Why doesn't her 
husband look after her better?" is still apt to be 
a query of the public about a woman it criticises. 

The Frenchman and the Hindu, if not the Anglo- 
Saxon, know that a woman cannot be too care- 
fully guarded. The apostle of the natural man 
advised French parents never to suffer their 
daughters for a single moment of their lives to 
know themselves free from restraint.* Nor was a 
Hindu woman "to act by herself in any matter. "^'' 

* Rousseau, Emile. Bk. v. 

224 XKe Old-FasHioned W^oman 

Without her husband's consent, a wife might not 
even pay a wedding visit or go on a girl's picnic. ^^ 
"Day and night women must be kept in depend- 
ence by the males of their families," father, 
husband, sons. "Never is a woman fit for 
independence."^^ So stupid and silly is she in 
fact, remark the Japanese, that she ought "in 
every particular, to distrust herself and to obey 
her husband." ^^ Self -distrust is also a Christian 
doctrine for women, and we have noted how well 
it may be inculcated in the Christian convent. 

Closely related to the theory that the convent 
was to induce dependence was the theory that it 
was a retreat from temptations, a refuge from the 
"world," an asylum for women without "natural 
protectors." In these theories mediaeval chivalry 
seconded the Church, for although it greatly 
increased the number of a woman's "protectors" 
— if she proved herself worthy of them — it greatly 
emphasised her need of a shield, alike physical and 
moral. Before the institution of knighthood had 
passed away, the idea that Dulcinda should never 
be exposed to the dangers or hardships of the 
world had become deeply rooted enough to live 
on and grow of itself. It flourished so well in 
fact that finally in the eighteenth century the 
feeling was general that there was nothing what- 

** Once Ovir Superiors " 225 

soever a lady could not be guarded against or 
"spared" — except child-bearing, that test of 
courage and chance to meet reality face to face 
men did not "protect" her from — imtil recently. 



T N primitive society bugaboos are not confined to 
•'■ the nursery. Women, like children, are scared 
into being "good." Again and again the men 
invent spirits to aid them in their mastery of the 
sex. The ceremonial bull-roarer or rattle of Aus- 
tralia, of New Guinea, of the West Coast of 
Africa, is believed by the women to be the voice of 
a terrifying spirit. ^ Among the Yorubans, women 
are compelled on pain of death to act up to this 
belief by flying indoors when the bull-roarer or 
the voice of Oro resounds in the streets.^ On 
Kiwai Island in the Fly Estuary and in the Elema 
District of New Guinea, the women have even to 
leave the village to escape the curse of hearing the 
bull-roarer.^ Should Euahlayi women of child- 
bearing age hear the spirit voice of Boorah, he 
would first madden and then kill them. '' 

*Published, with minor changes, in The I tide pendent, February 
8, 1912. 


Policing Her Svipernaturally 227 

The bull-roarer is evidently an effective curb 
upon female curiosity. But prying women must 
be restrained in other ways too. Were Kurnai 
women to see or hear what goes on after a certain 
point on the Jeraeil initiation ground, Tundun, 
the Great Ancestor, would kill them. ^ Once in 
an island of East Melanesia, Tepu, a ghost-god, 
commanded that no woman should visit his shrine. 
But the chief's wife did, and the god, having to 
make an example of her, rendered her unconscious, 
lay with her and then let her come to in a pool of 
blood. *^ The Eskimo tell a story even more 
alarming for Inquisitive Woman. Once upon a 
time, against all warning, a woman entered the 
Singing House when it was dark. For a long time 
she had wished to see the Spirit of the House, and 
so she summoned him. He came, and she felt him 
all over until she touched his boneless and hairless 
head. Then she dropped dead. ^ An Aleut Eski- 
mo woman who trespasses on holy places always 
runs the risk of illness, death, or insanity. ^ Fijian 
women who spy about the nanga or cult house too 
much go insane^ — a somewhat severer penalty 
than that visited on women indiscreet enough to 
trespass in Catholic monasteries, or glance at club 
windows on Piccadilly or Fifth Avenue. 

A little religious knowledge, however acquired, 

228 XKe Old-KasHioned "Woman 

is a dangerous thing — for women. Should a 
Queensland woman touch or even look at a death 
bone, a bone for murder by magic, she would 
straightway fall sick. '° So would a Mendi woman 
of Sierra Leone who found out the Poro secret 
society mysteries. ^ ^ Any Jabim woman of Kaiser 
Wilhelm's land who saw the sacred flutes used in 
the initiation rites, would die. ^^ All kinds of 
tribal misfortune come from an Aleut Eskimo wo- 
man finding out the least thing about the ritual. ^^ 
Beguiled by the Serpent, Eve ate of the Tree of 
Knowledge, and only a few years ago a Protestant 
divine gravely declared that "she was at the 
beginning of all the trouble in the world."* 

Serpents or bogies are useful to men not only 
in snubbing women who want to know too much ; 
they help to keep women at home. In Australia 
there are the iruntarina and the oruntja to lie 
in wait for adventuresome women. An ever- 
present fear of these spirits cows the women into 
keeping close to their camp-fires, — "a wholesome 
check upon their wandering about alone too 
much," ' 'I writes their English ethnographer, in full 
sympathy with their Blackfellow husbands. Fjort 
women are also timid about being alone at night, 

* Dix, Morgan, Lectures on the Calling of a Christian Woman, 
p. 169. New York, 1886. 

Policing Her S\ipernat\irally 229 

dreading the bimbindi or ghosts. And for good 
causes, for it is said that these bimbindi have made 
women live with them. '^ Tickolishe is another 
Bantu spirit who waylays women at night, coming 
out of the reeds to trick them. "^ In many an 
island of the Malay Archipelago women dare not 
venture alone in the forest at any time for fear 
of seductive spirits. ^ ' 

In fact the ghosts or gods of many a tribe or race 
are given to seduction or rape, and women are 
taught to fear their devotion and avoid their 
haunts. Often to make their soliciting doubly 
fearful, illness or death is said to follow upon their 
attentions. Belief in such unpleasant wooers 
is undoubtedly more effective than any anti- 
feminist argument that woman's place is in the 

Not content with merely threatening dangerous 
spirit encounters, the men of secret societies make 
their women believe that their own systematic 
spirit impersonations are actual spirit apparitions. 
During their funeral rites two or more of the 
Eastern Islanders of Torres Straits dress up as 
ghosts and bang and scrape on walls and doors, 
greatly frightening the women mourners within.'^ 
In the Elema district of New Guinea, men dis- 
guised as the spirit forerunners of Kovave, their 

230 XKe Old-KasKioned "Woman 

mountain god, terrify the women into staying at 
home to cook food in great quantity for the 
coming of the god.^' If a woman neglect her 
work during the initiation celebration in Kaiser 
Wilhelm's land, the Asa descend upon the village 
with a great hullabaloo, driving the frightened 
women before them. The stick which the masks 
then set up before the hut of the shirk is said to 
be always effective.^" Florida Island women also 
cook for their "ghosts." During the day the 
secret society men foregather undisguised among 
the women, gossiping of what the "ghosts" have 
done and are going to do." In the Niger delta 
the Ibo impersonation of the dead has a right to 
any girl he can catch. ^^ Yoruba women are 
forbidden on pain of death to laugh at or even to 
disparage the Egungun ghost impersonations, ^ ^ — 
a prohibition that suggests that even in Africa 
woman may sometimes be flippant or sceptical. 
According to a story of Mary Kingsley, they were 
decidedly so once upon a time towards the Ikun 
secret society — a society of the Bakele. The 
heresy had spread so far that the women had to 
be disciplined collectively. So what did the men 
do but bury the Ikun impersonation under the 
ringleader's floor, and when the ladies started to 
say "what fools those men had been making of 

Policing Her Svipernaturally 231 

themselves all the afternoon with their Ikun," 
appalling squeals and howls came from under their 
feet. They stared at each other for one second 
and then, feeling that something was tearing its 
way up through the floor, they "left for the interior 
of Africa with one accord." No arrests were 
made — but Society was saved, adds Miss Kingsley, 
clear as it is that it "cannot be kept together 
without some superhuman aid to help to keep the 
feminine portion of it within bounds."^'' And so, 
to keep the women in order is one of the objects 
of men's secret societies the world over — except 
perhaps in New Haven. 

Savage woman must neither pry nor roam. For 
the comfort of the men in general she must be 
unquestioning and unad venturesome. But fur- 
thermore, for the good of a particular man she 
must be obedient and faithful. The Bangala of 
the Upper Congo say that once a hunter called 
Mokwete found that, thanks to his polygynous 
habits, his allotment of meat was small. So going 
into the bush he called out: "Wives of Mokwete, 
wives of Mokwete!" They answered: "E!" 
and heard: "When your husband comes with 
meat you must not eat it, if you do, you will die." 
Thereafter all the meat was brought to him — until 
he was given away by his little son and deserted 

232 XKe Old-FasKioned "Woman 

by all the outraged women. ^^ In California and 
Australia, husbands manage better. A Porno 
Indian will terrify an unruly wife by himself 
dressing up as an ogre. After such a scene she is 
said to be unusually tractable for some days.^^ 
To ensure wifely docility most of the men of 
Central Australia carry a magic knout in their 
wallets. The mere sight of it terrifies an offend- 
ing woman; its stroke she believes to be fatal. 
In spite of this implement or perhaps because of 
it, wives sometimes run away in Central Australia. 
Then the husband and his friends punish the run- 
away through black magic. They bewitch a 
diagram of her which they have drawn on the 
ground, and into a piece of green bark representing 
her spirit they stick miniature spears. Sooner 
or later her "fat dries up," she dies and her spirit 
appears in the sky as a shooting star. In another 
tribe a deserted husband catches a rabbit-bandi- 
coot, renders it helpless by dislocating its hip 
joints and leaves it to a slow death. As it dies, 
the eloping wife wastes away.^^ In New Britain, 
runaway wives are called ia dapal, after a woman 
who once ran away from her angry and jealous 
husband to a rock in the sea, only to be drowned 
by the rising tide — a warning no doubt to other 
refractory women. ^^ 

Policing' Her Svapernaturally 233 

To test or ensure wifely fidelity, primitive 
detective methods seem far fitter than modem. 
Kayan and Kenyah husbands can tell from the 
knots of camphor trees, while they are away 
collecting, if their wives at home are unfaithful — 
evidence enough to kill them on their return.^' 
Unsuccess in hunting is like evidence to both the 
Wagogo and the Aleut husband. ^ " On the Loango 
Coast there is a special fetich to keep wives in 
order and punish them for infidelity. A betrayed 
husband finds the "medicines" in his fetich basket 
wet.^' An Ostyak husband has only to offer 
his wife a handful of bear's hair. She believes 
that if she takes it, being unfaithful, the bear 
whose hair was pulled out would turn up in three 
years to devour her.^* Amara, a famous oriental 
lady, refused to "wrong" her husband because 
she could not keep it secret from spirits or from 
"those of the gods who can read the hearts of 
men."^^ "Men consider your religion as one of 
their principal securities for that female virtue 
in which they are most interested," wrote Dr. 
Gregory to his daughters.^'' 

Among several peoples a difficult labour, death 
in child-birth, or the death of her child are promised 
the unfaithful wife — sanctions that have also been 
utilised from time to time by the modem novelist. 

234 XKe Old-FasKioned W^oman 

We have already noted that the modern noveHst 
has made use too of the theory that conjugaHty 
may defy death, and that to more unsophisticated 
men a widow's mourning is no mere sentimentaHty, 
The primitive widow unquestionably believes that 
were she not to mourn with all propriety, her dead 
husband would harry her unmercifully. He is 
never too far away to observe her. Among the 
Unmatjera and Kaitish, he never leaves her side. ^^ 
In Matamba he is even able to lodge himself in 
her breast — greatly to her discomfort. ^^ 

In developed tribal life and in early civilisa- 
tions, supernatural reward or punishment is a 
more thoroughgoing affair than in savagery, and 
wifely subjection as well as the rest of the social 
order is thereby more systematically secured. A 
Japanese woman is taught "to look on her husband 
as if he were Heaven itself, and never weary of 
thinking how she may yield to him, and thus escape 
celestial castigation."^^ Even an unfaithful or 
worthless husband is to be constantly worshipped 
as a god by a Hindu wife. If undutiful, after 
death she enters the womb of a jackal, and is 
tormented by diseases. Hindus still believe that 
wifely disobedience or disloyalty or husband 
murder, in a former existence, are punished in the 
present birth by widowhood, that greatest of 

Policing Her Svipernatvirally 235 

Hindu curses. On the other hand, if a wife obeys 
her husband, she will for that reason alone be 
exalted in heaven, declares Manu, the sacred 
codemaker. A chaste widow is also promised a 
place in heaven beside her husband. As for that 
most devout of devout widows, the suttee, her 
term in heaven is immensely long. Moreover, she 
expiates her husband's crimes for him and sancti- 
fies his and her ancestors.^* Dr. Jessup once 
asked a Moslem fellow-traveller in the Damascus 
diligence if his wife would have any place in 
Paradise when he received his quota of seventy- 
two houris. "Yes," said the Meccca pilgrim, 
looking towards his closely veiled wife, "if she 
obeys me in all respects, and is a faithful wife, 
and goes to Mecca, she will be made more beau- 
tiful than all the Houris of Paradise." ^' Obedient 
to her husband the Parsee woman was accounted 
holy ; disobedient, fiendish. Thrice a day a wife was 
to go before her husband, inquiring his wishes, and 
never, either by night or day, was she to avert her 
face from his command. Thus served she God.'*" 
"The well-ordered wife will justly consider the 
behaviour of her husband as a model of her own 
life, and a law to herself, invested with a divine 
sanction," writes Aristotle.''^ Simpler and even 
more forceful is the divine dictate of Genesis to 

236 XHe Old-rasHioned W^oman 

the Hebrew wife: "Thy desire shall be to thy 
husband, and he shall rule over thee.""^ Paul 
thoroughly agreed with this point of view and 
passed it on to Christendom. "Man is not of 
the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither 
was the man created for the woman; but the 
woman for the man."''^ And until the Origin 
of Species, most men — and women too — un- 
doubtedly held that the derivative nature of 
Eve was argument enough against rebellious 

Nowadays the deliberate anti-feminist must 
draw up a more critical kind of brief, but does not 
he or she depend at heart upon the religious sanc- 
tion for the proper control of women? Has not the 
proportion of women to men in the churches a 
bearing on this question? Of the total number of 
confessions made every year in the Catholic 
Church, how many, we wonder, are made by men, 
how many by women? Who at some time or 
other has not heard a Protestant non-church- 
going ^a^er/am^7z(^ declare: "But I don't interfere 
with the religious beliefs of my wife and daughters. 
I believe in their going to church."* Why is 
Nietzsche so certain that a woman without piety 
would be "something perfectly obnoxious or 

* Cp. Howells, W. D., A Modern Instance, ch. iv. 

Policing Her Supernaturally 237 

ludicrous to a profound and godless man?"* 
"Without religion no ladies education can be com- 
pleat," says the American Lady's Preceptor, '^'^ an 
early nineteenth-century publication "designed to 
direct the female mind," and only a generation or 
so ago a girl was cautioned against going to college 
because of its irreligious influence, a curious warn- 
ing in view of collegiate origins. 

Just to learn Hebrew and Greek one of the 
devout girls of this period did nevertheless go to 
college ; she wanted to find out for herself whether 
the Biblical passage *^and he shall rule over thee** 
had been correctly translated by the men.^^ 
Why was Lucy Stone so concerned about this 
translation? Why has a Khedivan princess writ- 
ten a commentary on the Koran to prove that it is 
not unfavourable to women, and why have Ameri- 
can feminists published a Woman's Bible in which 
to scold Paul and the Patriarchs as they deserve ? 

Is a woman's fear of being out alone, particu- 
larly at night, always explicable upon rationalistic 

Why, in a society whose marriage and divorce 

* Beyond Good and Evil, §239. A point of view held, too, of 
course by women. 

" I am unwilling to believe, that there is in nature so mon- 
strously incongruous a being, as di female infidel," wrote Hannah 
More. {Essays for Young Ladies, pp. 164-5.) 

238 THe Old-FasKionecl "Woman 

laws are the same for men and women, is there more 
prejudice against a widow who remarries than 
against a widower, against a divorcee than a divorce? 
And is not the widow who remarries within her 
year or two of mourning accused of heartlessness, 
and the remarrying divorcee of even worse? 

In the thirteenth century, an erring nun was 
instructed to make a candid confession in these 
words: " Sir, I am a woman, and ought rightly to 
have been more modest than to speak as I have 
spoken, or to do as I have done; and therefore my 
sin is greater than if a man had done it, for it 
became me worse." ''^ We all know that nowadays 
also almost anyone talking about sex differences 
may be easily led up to saying: " A bad woman is 
worse than a bad man." What have the mediaeval 
penitent and the modem conversationalist in the 
back of their minds? 



T^O cast spells has always been a function of 
-'■ das ewig weibliche, and woman has always 
been reputed peculiar^ versed in magic. Al- 
though when she practised it professionally she 
always had to compete with the male professional, 
it is only in the higher culture that he succeeds 
in relegating her to a poetical phrase or to a posi- 
tion of influence on the backstairs. In the lower 
culture, on the other hand, the female magician 
with her "intuition" and "charm" is an important 
figure. Like her male colleague, she cures, or 
kills, bedevils or exorcises, supplies charms for or 
against all kinds of disaster, controls the weather, 
guarantees professional success, ensures reproduc- 
tion, interprets dreams, and, most important of 
all, serves the god as his mouthpiece or go-between. 
Both medicine-man and woman practise their 
profession on the side, so to speak, living in every 
way like other people. They marry and rear off- 


240 XHe Old-FasKioned "Woman 

spring. They hunt or fish or fight, dig or forage 
or keep house, Hke lay men or women. 

With social elaboration, this sameness ceases. 
It becomes unseemly for a priest to go to war — 
except as an army chaplain — or to go hunting, or 
to attend plays or dances, or take part in many of 
the games, pastimes, or interests of society. For 
a long time, however, his family life remains more 
or less normal. He may have more or fewer 
wives than his neighbours, in his excursions from 
home he may have to be more or less circum- 
spect than others ; but a family man he continues 
to be. 

With women, on the other hand, maturing sacer- 
dotalism very quickly precludes matrimony. The 
sacerdotal calling becomes too exacting for a hus- 
band to stand, particularly as, pari passu with its 
increasing demands, husbands themselves, as so- 
ciety develops, become more and more exigent and 
proprietary . Again and again the claims of husband 
and church are seen to conflict. While a Niger delta 
woman or an Ot Danom woman is harbouring a 
spirit, she has to withdraw from conjugal inter- 
course. ^ Tcham husbands lose all authority over 
wives who become spirit-possessed. Should they 
make the spirit jealous, they are also liable to be 
killed. As soon therefore as a woman "professes," 

As SHe Concerns HierarcKies 241 

her husband prudently divorces her. ^ An Ansayrii 
Arab knows that if he marries a saint-dedicated 
girl she will have to go on working on the property 
belonging to her saint's tomb.^ In Fez, the 
husband of a newly "possessed" woman was 
called upon to give a banquet to her and her new 
friends, a demand that an independent man would 
sometimes frustrate by whipping the devil out 
of the baggage. "^ 

On the Gold Coast, where husbands have ordi- 
narily pretty much their own way, the husbands 
of sacerdotal wives have to approach them on their 
knees. Once a Gold Coast hyena god called 
Gbudu took possession of a married woman called 
Afiba. Whereupon he coolly ordered Aiiba's 
husband to build him and Afiba a home. The 
husband complied and then eliminated himself. ^ 
But Ewe husbands are not always so obliging. 
We hear of one who pretends to sell his self- 
assertive wife to an European factor in order to 
break her spirit. His bluff is very successful. 
If he will only take her home, she promises to 
have only just as much religion "as my William 
likes." Another rebellious Ewe husband merely 
imprisons his wife at home, but in this case she 
succeeds with priestly aid in poisoning and para- 
lysing him. ^ Such wayward wives are of course 


2-42 XKe Old-FasKioneci W^oman 

unpopular, so that for the most part the priestesses 
of the Gold Coast are unmarried. 

In view of such incompatibility between sacer- 
dotalism and domesticity, the one is often held, 
as among the Tchams or the Ewes, to quite 
preclude the other. The priestesses of Isis had 
to separate from their husbands. '^ To get a 
divorce, discontented African or Burman wives 
have only to become serpent brides or Buddhist 
nuns. ^ 

Against such a contingency, husbands elsewhere 
have provided more thoughtfully. "No sacrifice, 
no penance, and no fasting is allowed to women 
apart from their husbands, ... a woman who 
keeps a fast or performs a penance in the lifetime 
of her lord, deprives her husband of his life, and 
will go to hell," affirms the Hindu.' Neither her 
"vow unto the Lord" nor her bond shall stand 
if a Jewish woman's husband please to make 
them void.'" No conscientious Christian priest 
consecrates a married woman without conjugal 
consent. Told that it is a shame for women to 
speak in church, and that "if they will learn any- 
thing," to "ask their husbands at home,"" it is 
not so strange that many a Christian wife has felt 
it her duty to join her husband's denomination or, 
married to an unbeliever, has of her own accord 

JK.S SKe Concerns HierarcKies 243 

lapsed away from every church, acting perhaps 
upon the feeHng that, "if he must be lost, then 
she did not care to be saved." ^^ Parsee wives 
are formally forbidden to pray. ^^ So are the 
Ainu women of Japan, lest they turn their prayers 
against the men and particularly against their 
husbands. Santal men take no chances whatso- 
ever, keeping even the names of their household 
gods a secret from their wives. ' ^ 

Unlike certain modern controversialists, priests 
realise, however, that all women are not married. 
There are the old or widowed, the young, the 
slave, and the unclaimed. 

In ghost cults, widows are quite logically priest- 
esses. They care for the needs of the marital 
ghost and they serve as mediums to mundane 
friends. We remember the oracular widows of 
Fiji and Urua. White Lady, the widow of the 
Kolor chief of Victoria, kept her tribe in constant 
fear of her supernatural power. ^^ j^ India, the 
widows of saintly gurus have presided over their 
worshipful sects. ^'^ 

The cult of a deified leader is apt to outlast 
the life of his widow. Hence ceremonial widows. 
When a royal B Uganda widow dies, her place in 
the mausoleum is taken by a clanswoman. ^ ' 
The mummies of Incas and Pharaohs were cared 

244 THe Old-FasKioned Woman 

for by women, generation after generation.'^ 
In 1349, Henry, Duke of Lancaster, foimded an 
endowment to support two anchoresses with their 
two maid servants to live within the churchyard 
of Whalley and pray there for the ducal soul. On 
the ground that many of these anchoresses had 
been unfaithful to the memory of the dead duke, 
Henry VI dissolved their hermitage and appointed 
instead two chaplains to say a daily mass.*' 

Whatever their conduct, widows, actual and cere- 
monial, always do run the risk of losing their job. 
In Buganda, for example, where they were still 
guardians of the royal grave, a high priest had 
monopolised communication with the dead king, 
setting up his claim by drinking beer out of the 
royal sktill.^" In competition with overbearing 
Buddhist, Christian, or Moslem hierarchy, widows 
have even been ousted from their post at the grave. 

Where the gods are without a ghostly character, 
widows might seem to be as ineligible for religious 
service as married women. But compromises 
between the dead and deity are easier than between 
deity and the living. Greek widows kept up the 
perpetual fire in the pyrtaneum.^* Anna, the 
Jewish widow, served God day and night in his 
temple. ^^ "As my body cannot be buried with 
you, I will have my head shaven and become a 

A.S SKe Concerns HierarcKies 245 

nun," exclaimed an imperial Chinese concubine 
at the death-bed of her lord.""^ We hear of a 
Rajputani widow dissuaded from becoming sati 
to care for the image of Krishna in the house of his 
priest Ranavyas.^'' "They who have lost their 
husbands are wedded to Christ in their stead," 
writes Chrysostom, ^ s and we are told that as the 
Reverend John Fletcher, a distinguished Metho- 
dist, lay dying, he himself prayed aloud: "Hus- 
band of the Church, be husband to my wife."""^ 
Maha-pagapati, the kinswoman who nagged 
Gotama into admitting women to discipleship, 
was a widow. In fact, widows have very largely 
recruited the orders of all the churches. 

During the first three centuries of Christianity, 
widows even formed a distinct sacerdotal order. 
The widow "professed" was the charity visitor 
of the Church. She cared for the sick, the poor, 
and the orphaned. She taught church doctrine 
and she even officiated at baptism. 

Like hierarchies elsewhere, however, the Christ- 
ian Fathers took alarm over the ambitious widow. 
They ordered her not to be so enterprising. She 
was told that to baptise was very dangerous both 
for her and the woman she baptised. Moreover, 
had she been intended to baptise, Jesus would 
have been baptised by his mother and not by John. 

246 XKe Old-FasHioned "Woman 

It was thought advisable for her, just as for the 
women members of a modern mixed hospital 
board, not to preside over meetings. She was to 
keep strictly within the limits of her woman's 
auxiliary society. As "God's altar," she was to 
remain steadfast in one place. ^^ In fact, it was 
better for her to be cloistered. In the course of a 
century or two the widow "professed" seems to 
have submitted to this point of view and become 
a nun. 

But the cloister furnished the Church with 
only a temporary solution for its old woman 
question. In later centuries, as we shall note, 
it was to become again acute. 

The yoimg, more amenable than the old, have 
often been dedicated to religious services. The 
gods are ever open to bribery, and children are 
acceptable ex-voto offerings. Ewe women who 
are barren or whose children die vow unborn 
children to their gods of fertility. While they 
are little these klu and kosi work for the priest 
of their god or goddess, and with their parents 
make him presents. The right of marrying off 
the girls belongs to him.^^ Shinto temples are 
served by little girls. They sing and dance for 
the gods and set out the food offerings on their 
altars. ^' Mexican mothers vowed their daughters 

As SHe Concerns HierarcKies 247 

to Quetzalcoatl or Tezcatlipoca. Tezcatlipoca's 
maidens went every day to his temple school to 
dance and sing in his honour. Quetzalcoatl's more 
aristocratic devotees lived in his cloister, took 
care of his temple, and catered for him and his 
priests. Every midnight in their devotions they 
bled themselves, piercing the top of their ears. 
When the girls were marriageable, their mothers 
brought presents to their sacerdotal superinten- 
dent and asked his permission to marry them off 
— a negotiation curiously like that narrated in the 
apocryphal histories of the Virgin Mary. ^° 

According to Pseudo-Matthew, in fulfilment 
of a vow, Joachim and Anna had placed Mary, 
when she was two years old, in the commimity of 
the temple virgins who wove cloth and sang and 
danced in honour of Jahveh. When Mary was 
marriageable, "Abiathar, the priest, offered gifts 
without end to the high priest in order that he 
might obtain her as wife to his son." For, ever 
since the days of Solomon, said the priest, the 
temple virgins, daughters of kings and prophets 
and priests, having arrived at the proper age, had 
been given in marriage.^' 

Like these apocryphal Jewish maidens, the kosi 
of the Gold Coast, the miko of Japan, as well as 
the Mexican Maids of Penance, as the Spaniards 

248 XHe Old-FasKioned "Woman 

called them, all leave their sacerdotal tasks for 
the world. Elsewhere, as we have noted, girl 
devotees remain cloistered. Married to the god 
himself, they are called upon to spend their lives 
in his service and, what seems to amount to the 
same thing, in that of his priests, apt to act as his 
proxies in every particular. In the cloisters of 
Christendom and of the Peruvian Sun-god, such 
a complete identification of god and priest was 
more or less irregular and surreptitious, but in 
India the Brahmans are as a matter of course the 
lovers of the deva dasi. 

Many of the deva dasi are slave girls. As slave 
girls are commonly immolated at the fimerals of 
the mighty, and in bloody sacrifice to deity, they 
are naturally appropriated to gods in need of live 
servants or of being placated with very special 
gifts. Once when Lake Victoria Nyanza was in 
flood. King Mutesa sent one hujidred women to the 
shrine of its god.^^ In classical antiquity, hun- 
dreds of women were vowed annually to deity to 
bring men "comfort and hope in danger." ^^ 

The votaries of India, of Corinth, and of West- 
ern Asia are religious prostitutes, prostitution 
being an essential rite in the cult of their deity. 
But even the lay prostitutes of India and Corinth, 
as of other places, have a quasi religious character. 

-As SKe Concerns HierarcHies 249 

Moreover, the unclaimed or "loose woman" is free 
to give herself to religious service if it appeals to 
her, and again and again it seems to. Too worn 
out when she joins the church or perhaps too 
masochistic to be enterprising, we find her con- 
ventionally recruiting existing orders of nuns — in 
India, in Japan, in Christendom. 

Thanks to their age or birth or mode of life, 
all these devotees are evidently amenable to 
their church, — slave women and prostitutes, 
humble alike from birth and life's vicissitudes, 
young girls disinclined to take their passing 
profession seriously or brought through their 
theogamy into a meek relation to the god and his 
proxies, widows cut off from communication with 
deified husbands or from society by segregation 
in tomb or cloister. 

In the cloister the subordination of mm to monk 
or priest is as a rule carefully planned. "A Bhik- 
kuni, even if of a hundred years' standing, shall 
make salutation to, shall rise up in the presence 
of, shall bow down before, and shall perform all 
proper duties towards a Bhikku, if only just 
initiated." This is the first of the Eight Chief 
Rules the Buddha lay down for the women whom, 
against his better judgment, he had taken into 
his order. His kinswoman, Maha-pagati, a wo- 

250 XKe Old-FasKioned "Woman 

man of character, suggests that this etiquette 
of personal relationship should be based on senior- 
ity, not on sex. But the Blessed One refuses 
to consider her suggestion. It is "impossible, "he 
says. Even teachers of ' ' ill doctrine " do not allow 
"such conduct towards women." To be doubly 
safe, he thereupon makes it an offence in a 
bhikkhu to treat a bhikkhuni as a superior. Nor 
is a bhikkhuni on any pretext to revile or abuse 
a bhikkhu. "Official admonition" of bhikkhu by 
bhikkhuni is forbidden, but not of bhikkhuni by 
bhikkhu. Bhikkhus also heard confessions and 
administered penance for the bhikkhunis, until 
the provision gave rise to scandal and the bhikkhus 
were limited to merely initiating proceedings 
against an offending bhikkhuni. ^ '' 

" Confession" of nuns by their "directors" 
has given rise to scandal in Christendom too; 
but the priesthood has never on that account 
shirked its task or delegated it to others. As re- 
cently as 1890 the Pope forbade a mother superior, 
whatever her rank or eminence, endeavouring, 
"directly or indirectly, by command, counsel, 
fear, threats, or blandishments" to induce her 
subjects to make her any "manifestation of 
conscience." ^5 

In all other important matters, a Catholic 

i\s SKe Concerns HierarcHies 251 

sisterhood is also under the orders of bishop, 
cardinal, or pope. Their prayer-books must 
be passed upon by their bishop, and even their 
private devotions must have his approbation. 
"The very nature of religious life demands from 
the Sisters submission to the ecclesiastical hier- 

In spite of all this regulation of women by the 
churches, the primitive medicine-woman fights 
for her own. Generally old and family less, she 
is comparatively unfettered, and she lives in more 
or less secret rebellion against ecclesiastical 
domination. But the position of such refractory 
old women is always extremely dangerous. Ma- 
ligned to society as witches, they are accused of 
practising only black magic, of wrongfully recall- 
ing the dead, and of being in league only with 
malevolent or outcast spirits. As any misfortune 
can be put to their credit, they are often, to be 
sure, a convenient scapegrace. Still, their direct 
relation with their "familiars" never fails to alarm 
the hierarchy. The independence of the witch 
threatens their own monopoly. A witch is a 

And she is generally made to feel it. We recall 
the suspiciousness of the Witch of Endor when she 
was called upon by the orthodox to display her 

252 THe Old-rasKioned Woman 

power, and undoubtedly her timidity was justified. 
Snubbed as she was by the Jewish hierarchy, at 
the hands of the neighbouring hierarchy of Baby- 
lonia she would have fared even worse. Like the 
Europeans and the colonial New Englanders, the 
Babylonians burned their witches. ■' ^ The Chinese 
still execute theirs. ^^ In the reign of Constantine, 
the sacerdotal sisters of a Christian bishop, a 
"vowed virgin" and a "widow professed," were 
killed by the Persian hierarchy for causing their 
queen to fall ill through enchantments.^' 

But the priesthood must be well organised and 
self-confident for such thorough persecutions. 
Paul merely cast out the devil from the slave 
woman of Thymira and depreciated her market 
value. Bishop Ageric could not even effect this 
much against the Prankish sorceress who appeared 
one day on the streets of Verdun in the gorgeous 
raiment she had earned by "smelling out" thieves. 
Failing to exorcise her "familiar," the Bishop had to 
let her depart to the court of Queen Fredegonde.'''' 
In the old ecclesiastical law of England the woman 
who "practised divination or diabolical incanta- 
tion" had only to do penance for one year. ""^ 
In Merida, Yucatan, a mestiza called Belinda 
started recently to found a cult for a patron saint. 
The Bishop kept her from completing her half -built 

i\s SKe Concerns HierarcKies 253 

chapel, but Belinda herself is still at large. Our own 
Mother Ann, Mother Tingley, and Mother Eddy 
have been ignored by the churchmen altogether. 

Unable to persecute the intrusive prophetess, 
hierarchies have usually realised, however, that 
the only safe alternative was to bring her into 
close relationship with themselves. We recall 
the theogamic wives of the priests of the Pelew 
Islands. Cavazzi tells of a Congoese priest 
called Ngosei who had to share a wife with each 
of his eleven gods. The gods answered his 
questions only through the women.''* We hear 
of another African priest, a Caff re called Umhla- 
kaza, "managing" a girl who received messengers 
from the ancestral spirits. ''^ Among the Dra vidian 
Tuluvas, the priest's wife is possessed by his 
Bhuta and sings the Bhuta stories for him. '' ^ The 
Delphic Pythoness was celibate, but her oracles 
were published by the priesthood. They were, 
moreover, careful to select for the important 
office a woman of humble birth, very ignorant 
and inexperienced. "* 5 

Both orthodox Buddhism and orthodox Christ- 
ianity determined to do without prophecy — a 
decision very unfavourable to women. But 
Buddhist and Christian sectaries alike proved 
unable to forego such a prestigeful religious asset. 

254 THe Old-FasKionecl "Woman 

Consequently women had a prominent position 
among them. In Mdlate and Mddhava, a classical 
Hindu play of the eighth century, a Buddhist 
priestess is a leading figure, thwarting as she does 
the machinations of the priest and priestess of 
Kali. She lives in her own house surrounded by 
her female disciples and, judging from the boasts 
she makes of her powerful knowledge of mystic 
rites and prayers, ""^ she was far from orthodox. 
In the Japanese Nichiren sect, the Buddhist sect 
most influenced by Shinto and most characterised 
by "possession," the possessed are always women. 
In the other sects affecting possession, the men have 
been ousting the women from the role.''^ It was 
a prophetess who contaminated Dean Nicholas, 
the first of Christian heresiarchs. Priscilla and 
Maximilla of Phrygia were the inspirers of Mon- 
tanus, and Philumene, of Apelles, a Marcionite. 
Marcellina, together with Carpokrates, led a sect 
that associated with "familiar spirits and dream- 
sending demons." ^ ^ Marcus, a prominent Gnostic, 
was bitterly arraigned by the orthodox for his 
devotion to women. Too clever a fellow by far, 
he seduces them, according to his detractors, with 
a promise of the gift of prophecy. The timid 
woman who urges that she has never prophesied 
and does not know how, he reassures, saying, 

As SKe Concerns HierarcKies 255 

"Open thy mouth, speak whatsoever occurs to 
thee, and thou shalt prophesy." Greatly "puffed 
up" and overcome with gratitude to Marcus, the 
new prophetess gives him herself and her fortune, 
"that she may become altogether one with him."""' 
Justified by Paul's tongue-tying ordinance and 
his notorious prejudice against women teachers, 
the Fathers gravely disapproved of the "wanton" 
women of the heretics. The scandal of them was 
one of their strongest arguments for the cloister. 
And yet from time to time even in the cloister a 
"mystic" asserted herself. Hildegard of Bingen, 
"filled by the Holy Ghost and acquainted with 
things which are hidden from mankind generally," 
was able to "imcover the past and foresee the 
future." 5° The nun Mechthild of Hackebom 
and the Beguine Mechthild of Magdeburg see 
visions. Bridget of Sweden writes down "revela- 
tions." Monks beg Elizabeth Barton, the pro- 
phetic nun of Kent, to pray for them, and bishops 
"believe in" her.^^ Teresa of Spain, the most 
famous prophetess of them all, even appeared to 
her own nuns after death. One of them, Catherine 
of Jesus, writes to Father Gracian, the Provincial, 
that Teresa has just appeared to her, bidding her 
tell him not to allow any of his " Religious to 
write about revelations, nor to make any account 

256 THe Old-FasHioned "Woman 

of them; for though some of them may be really 
authentic, yet it is quite certain that many are 
false; and it is very difficult to discover the truth 
amidst a hundred lies/'^^ Whether this subtle 
mandate was inspired by Teresa or by Father 
Gracian himself, it probably kept the itch to 
prophesy from spreading in the nunnery. 

The actual or potential competition of mystic 
or witch is not the only form of the woman ques- 
tion which has been troublesome to the Church. 
The effect of the female upon the male worship- 
pers is a far graver matter. It probably begins 
to cause concern to the theologians just as soon 
as they modify their policy of strictly excluding 
women from their cults. The admission or even 
the partial admission of women into secret societies 
is ever a sign of their decadence. The Yale 
senior society men who decided that the wives of 
graduates should not be admitted into their society 
building were wiser than the Masons who organised 
the Society of the Eastern Stars. Just as when 
mildew falls upon a fine field of rice, or blight upon 
a good field of sugar cane, that field of rice or 
sugar will not last long, just so "under whatever 
doctrine and discipline women are allowed to go 
out from the household life into the homeless state, 
that religion will not last long, "resignedly observed 

A.S SKe Concerns HierarcKies 257 

Gotama, "after he had succumbed to Maha-pagati. 

At some time or other Roman priests must 
have been as weak as the Buddha, for in Strabo's 
day Roman women seem to have monopolised 
the cults — much as Christian women monopolise 
them nowadays. "All agree in regarding women 
as the authors of devotion to the gods," he says, 
"and it is they who induce the men by their 
example to a more attentive worship of the gods, 
and to the observance of feast-days and supplica- 
tions; for scarcely is there foimd a man living by 
himself who pays any regard to such matters." 5'« 

Indifferent students of social psychology though 
they are, churchmen do realise that it is a perilous 
time for a religion when men have to be attracted 
to it through women. Even in antiquity women 
were not admitted into all the cults. That their 
husbands may not turn away from the household 
gods of Christianity "in grieved contempt," 
Ruskin iirges women to keep away from the 
dangers of theology. ^^ Realising perhaps that 
but for the crusades men would have lost interest 
much sooner than they did in Christianity, within 
the last year or two evangelists have been organ- 
ising a great revival for men and for men only in 
the United States. It is an intelligent if somewhat 
belated endeavour. 



TN 1850 Harvard refused to admit Harriet Hunt 
* into its medical school after its students had 
pleaded "that whenever a woman should prove 
herself capable of an intellectual achievement, this 
latter would cease to constitute an honour for the 
men who had previously prized it,"' — a theory of 
female — and male — intellect the Harvard Medical 
School appears to still entertain. Wesleyan under- 
graduates have been like-minded. About twenty 
years ago they expressed their disapproval of the 
admission of women into the college by excluding 
them from class-day exercises, tactics which they 
have kept to ever since and through which they 
have at last succeeded in forcing the imiversity to 
drop its coeducational role. 

But Harvard and Wesleyan students have had 
support outside of their faculties. In fact some 
time ago so loud was the outcry against feminisa- 
tion of the colleges that a witty essayist felt called 

upon to make a persuasive plea against the further 


XKe Jeopardised Male 259 

chaperoning of his sex. He argued that you could 
not make a man by hiding him from women, that 
Woman was not contagious, and that at any rate 
she had at some time or other to be encoimtered.* 
That he had himself encoimtered her I happen to 
know, having once been a member of a college 
class which he taught (I trust I am not giving him 
away), but in making these statements did he 
nevertheless fully appreciate his own boldness and 
the fact that the majority of mankind disagreed 
with him? 

He certainly seemed a little surprised that the 
idea prevailed that "as soon as women broke into 
a college" the men would all take "to piling up 
fruits and flowers and birds on their hat brims," 
and that any university professor could bleat 
"over the danger to his manhood from the fact 
that there were so many women near him. " 

But one has to ignore academic history not to 
expect the university to tremble for its "imper- 
illed manhood " at the approach of Woman. This 
terror was put into its heart originally of course by 
the Church. The Church itself has always been 
very much afraid of Woman. Its manifest dislike 
of her has been primarily an expression of its fear. 

* Colby, Frank Moore. Imaginary Obligations: The Co- 
Education Scare, pp. 178-81. New York, 1905. 

26o TKe Old-KasKioned "Woman 

But whence in turn this particular ecclesiastical 
timidity? Conservative as it is in general, the 
Church naturally holds conservative ideas about 
Woman. Now in primitive thought Woman, as 
we have repeatedly noted, is not only dangerous — 
even Mr. Colby admits she may be "damaging" 
— she is contagious. We remember for what good 
reasons the youths of Australian tribes had to be 
shy with women. Malagasy porters believe that 
if a woman strides over their poles the skin will 
peel off the shoulders of those next using them. ^ 
If a South African woman steps over her husband's 
stick or assegai he will never be able to hit any one 
with it. Were a man ever to touch his wife with his 
right hand, he would grow weak and certainly be 
killed in war. Barea couples do not sleep together, 
for "the breath of the wife weakens her hus- 
band. "^ 

Exposure to Woman being so rash, it should 
indeed be avoided or undergone only with the 
utmost precaution. Should a woman of South- 
East Australia step over anything belonging to a 
man, he would throw it away. In the Solomon 
Islands a man will never go under a fallen tree 
for fear a woman may have gone over it. "• A New 
Britain man dare not look at a woman, and still 
less would he risk laughing with his eyes upon her. ^ 

XHe Jeopardised Male 261 

One of Hesiod's maxims is a prohibition against 
washing in water used by a woman/ The wise 
Hindu was "never unguarded in the company of 
females," and after touching one he "purified" 
himself by bathing in or touching or sipping water. ^ 
Woman "desires most of all to set off the blandish- 
ments of her beauty, and thus to rob men of their 
steadfast heart!" declaims Gotama. "How then 
ought you to guard yourselves?" he asks his fol- 
lowers as they are approached by the Lady Amra, 
a good and generous — but beautiful — woman. 
And the Buddha answers himself: "By regarding 
her tears and smiles as enemies, her stooping form, 
her hanging arms, and all her disentangled hair 
as toils designed to entrap man's heart. "^ On 
another occasion a disciple asks Gotama: "How 
are we to conduct ourselves. Lord, with regard to 
womankind?" "Don't see them, Ananda." "But if 
we should see them, what are we to do?" "Abstain 
from speech, Ananda." "But if they should speak 
to us. Lord, what are we to do ? " " Keep wide awake, 
Ananda. " ^ Equally prudent were the early Chris- 
tians. A holy man would neither eat nor drink 
with nor sleep anywhere near women. He would 
not let them wash his feet, or anoint him, or 
make his bed, or wait on him in any way at all. 
When the Christian salutation was called for, it 

262 XHe Old-FasKionecl "Woman 

was to be exchanged with hands wrapped in gar- 
ments and eyes cast upward. ^ ° 

Christian and Buddhist ascetics are of course 
ceHbate; but there are other anti-feminists less 
logical. After a week of "trial marriage," Man 
went to Twashtri, his creator, and said: "Lord, 
this creature that you have given me makes my 
life miserable. She chatters incessantly, and 
teases me beyond endurance, never leaving me 
alone: and she requires incessant attention, and 
takes all my time up, and cries about nothing, and 
is always idle; and so I have come to give her 
back again, as I cannot live with her. So Twashtri 
said: Very well: and he took her back. Then 
after another week, Man came again to him and 
said : Lord, I find that my life is very lonely since 
I gave you back that creature. I remember how 
she used to dance and sing to me, and look at me 
out of the comer of her eye, and play with me, and 
cling to me; and her laughter was music, and she 
was beautiful to look at, and soft to touch: so 
give her back to me again. So Twashtri said: 
Very well: and gave her back again. Then after 
only three days, Man came back to him again, 
and said: Lord, I know not how it is; but after 
all, I have come to the conclusion that she is more 
of a trouble than a pleasure to me: so please take 

THe Jeopardised Male 263 

her back again. But Twashtri said : Out on you ! 
Be off! I will have no more of this. You must 
manage how you can. Then Man said: But I 
cannot live with her. And Twashtri replied: 
Neither could you live without her. And he 
turned his back on Man, and went on with his 

Much the same view of marriage was taken 
from time to time by the ancients. "If, Romans, 
we could do without a wife, we should all be with- 
out that source of vexation," opined the Roman 
Censor, Metallus Numidius. "To marry is an 
evil, and not to marry is an evil," wrote Simonides, 
the poet.^^ Better marry than bum, counselled 
the embittered and disastrous Tarsian. "It is a 
hazard either way," added Robert Burton '^ six- 
teen centuries later, and his view is still popular. 

Nevertheless matrimonial dangers may be re- 
duced. Such appears to be the aim of many mar- 
riage rites. In Celebes as the bridegroom's soul 
is apt to fly away at the wedding, rice is scattered 
to induce it to stay. A Matabele bride "purifies" 
the groom by dousing him with water as soon as 
she arrives in his house. At a Malay wedding 
bride and groom are first fumigated with incense 
and then smeared with the "neutralising paste" 
which averts ill luck.*^ 

264 TKe Old-FasHionedl "Woman 

A bridal veil is a very common means of mutual 
protection. The Zulu bride wears a veil of beads ; 
among the Yezedee and the Armenians the veil 
covers the bride from head to foot. The Roman 
veil was bright yellow; among the Druses it is 
red; ours is white. The Corean bride veils her 
face with her long sleeves. In Melanesia palm 
leaves are held before the bride's face; among the 
Abipone, a carpet ''S; among the Australians of 
Victoria, an opossum skin — for two moons after 
marriage.^* The Armenian bride wears her short 
veil of crimson wool (a substitute for her all- 
enveloping wedding veil of silk) still longer — until 
her first child is bom or, if she impresses the house- 
hold head unfavourably, even longer, perhaps for 
years. ' ' 

Friends also help to lessen the perils of a wedding. 
From six to twelve groomsmen attend the Abyssin- 
ian bridegroom. The South Celebes bridegroom 
is accompanied by a "double," a favorite device 
in primitive society for diverting danger. The 
Egyptian bridegroom has two such "best men," 
and several bridesmaids stand with the bride under 
her canopy. ^^ 

Wedded, the right kind of conjugal traditions 
must go far to make marriage tolerable for men. 
In the Islands of Torres Straits to be called a 

XHe Jeopardised Male 265 

"good wife" a woman had to be proud of her 
husband's success with the girls. ^' A Japanese 
wife is bidden never to "even dream " of jealousy. ""* 
At their nubility ceremony the Awemba women 

" The husband is powerful within the hut, 
We the women are merely as the chaff which hangs 
from the roof."^^ 

In passing out from the great gate of her father's 
house, a Chinese bride follows her bridegroom, and 
"with this the right relation between husband 
and wife commences." ^^ As soon as the Russian 
groom and bride enter their bedroom, he bids her 
take off his boots. Obeying, she finds in one of 
them a whip, symbol of authority over her person. ^ ^ 
That ' ' the husband is the head of the wife' ' and that 
" the wife hath not power of her own body, but 
the husband, "^^ are Christian beliefs the Anglo- 
Saxon finds thoroughly embedded in his common 
law* and adequately expressed in his marriage 
service and wedding symbols. f Saint Teresa tells 
us she has many Spanish friends who never com- 

* Allowing, as it does, a husband to whip or lock up a misbehav- 
ing wife (Blackstone, Bk. i, ch. xv). 

t Originally the English bridegroom symbolised his power by 
treading ceremonially upon his bride's foot (Howard, i, 273). 
Nowadays only an old shoe or slipper is thrown after her. 

266 XKe Old-rasKioned "Woman 

plain of their maladies for fear of displeasing their 
husbands. ^5 Manu teaches that however "desti- 
tute of good qualities" a man may be, he must be 
deified by his unquestioning wife.^^ During the 
speechifying at a recent woman's lunch party in 
Washington, the wife of a noted Democrat is re- 
ported to have perorated with: "My husband, 
may he ever be right, but right or wrong my 
husband!" To "truly love her husband a woman 
must regard his affection and his honor as her 
dearest earthly treasures. For the preservation 
of these she will endure privation, bear any reverse, 
encounter any labor."* This American sentiment 
is dated 1840, but it finds many a latter day echo. 
I know one young wife who, taller than her hus- 
band, has worn since her wedding day heelless 

Wives who are self-sacrificing, uncritical and con- 
fiding, uncomplaining, submissive, humble, not 
jealous, can surely give their husbands little 

Liability to involve a man in awkward relations 
with other men is an unquestionable disadvantage 
in a wife; but there are many ways in which she 
may minimise this danger too for him. After her 

*From an editorial on A Husband's Duty in the Philadelphia 
Saturday Courier, quoted by the Newport Mercury, Saturday, Jan. 
25, 1840. 

XHe Jeopardised Male 267 

wedding Arabella Trefoil felt that "she need never 
again seem to be gay in order that men might be 
attracted."* To make themselves unalluring, 
Polynesian and Greek and Anglo-Saxon brides 
always had their hair cut.^^ Orthodox Jewish 
brides put on a wig. New Guinea and Borneo 
wives have to forego all ornaments.^* "The 
ornament of a matron does not consist in fine 
clothes or other deckings of the body," says the 
dutiful German wife, "but in chaste and modest 
behaviour, and the ornaments of the mind. . . . 
Whores are tricked up to take the eyes of males 
but we are well enough drest, if we do but please 
our own husbands."^' "Submit your head to 
your husbands, and you will be enough adorned," ^° 
taught the early Fathers. "Let none of you 
think that, if she abstain from the care of her 
person, she will incur the hatred and aversion of 
her husband." Beauty in fact truly Christian 
husbands do not require. ' ' You will please them in 
proportion as you take no care to please others.'' ^^ 
It is perhaps with such aims that for years after 
marriage Gilbert Island women wrap themselves 
up in a mat with only a small hole to peep through 
and that young Wataveta wives wear from the 
temples a veil of iron chain which hangs in close 

*TroIlope, The Amencan Senator, iii, ch. xxii. 

268 XHe Old-FasHioned W^oman 

lengths to below the lips.'^^ Greek and Roman 
matrons also wore a veil. Writing how satisfactory 
he finds his wife, Pliny describes her standing 
nearby when he speaks in public, "listening with 
delight" to his hearers' praises of him, "under 
the cover of her veil,'^^^ — "eternally, necessarily 
feminine. "* 

Gratifying as a veiled wife must be to a pro- 
prietary husband, a veil may be an impediment to 
conjugal companionship. Nofel Effendi, a dis- 
tinguished Moslem, once told Dr. Jessup he was 
unwilling to walk with his wife in the street lest, 
closely veiled as she was, she might be taken for 
another man's wife. "You cannot expect a 
respectable man to put himself into such an embar- 
rassing position!" he exclaimed. ■''' 

For no other reason than to preclude conjugal 
intimacy pregnant Masai women have to forego 
every adornment, for they are given explicitly to 
understand they have no business to make it 
difficult for their husbands to keep the rule of 
continence. 3 5 Among the Nootka Indians and in 
Vancouver pregnant women also discard their 
necklaces, bracelets, and anklets 3'' — perhaps to 
make themselves unenticing, perhaps more directly 
for the good of the unborn child. f Women in 

* Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, § 239. fSee p. 78. 

THe Jeopardised Male 269 

civilisation are also apt to utterly neglect their 
"looks" at this time — also for uncertain reasons. 

A woman considerate of her husband's ' ' honour 
will be particularly careful not to imperil it in his 
absence. Not only was the Hindu wife not to 
decorate herself while her husband was away, she 
was not to dance or sing, not to eat meat or drink 
intoxicants, not to attend public shows or festivals ; 
and, truly devoted, she was to keep herself 
"squalid and languid" until his return. ^^ In 
East Central Africa the wife of an absent husband 
could not anoint her head or cut her hair or wash 
her face.^^ The wife of a Galla pilgrim had to 
barricade herself indoors with the branches of 
trees, besides, as we have noted elsewhere, dieting 
herself.^' In Alaska a Koniag woman fasts and 
lies wrapped in a bearskin in a comer of her hut 
when her husband goes whaling. ■*" Such self- 
sacrifice insures him a good kill, just as we have 
seen that in many another community "sympathy" 
in wives is a guarantee of success to husbands 
"away on business." Incidentally, however, this 
faithful or "dignified" conduct at home must 
always conduce to marital monopoly. 

"Grass widows" are in fact quite modem. 
There were seventeenth-century Englishmen who 
held that a wife "ought not to speak many words 

270 TKe Old-FasHioned "Woman 

but in her Husbands presence," and he being 
absent "she ought to be Invisible," not appearing 
"in her full splendour but when she comes near 
the Sun. "■*' Even in the United States I have 
heard of wives who will not have a solitary man 
guest stay overnight in their house or even dine 
with them if their husband is not there. 

It is the duty of all women, not merely of the 
young wife, to be as little dangerous to men as 
possible. The colour and pattern of a Japanese 
woman's garments "should be unobtrusive," 
for "it is wrong of her, by an excess of care, 
to obtrude herself on other people's notice."^' 
Let women "adorn themselves in modest ap- 
parel, with shamefacedness and sobriety," wrote 
the Jew who ever protected himself against the 
allurement os sex. Nor were women to tempt 
him, or others who wished to remain even as he, 
with "braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly 
array." "^ 

Do you not know that you are each an Eve? " 
asks Tertullian, and do you "who persuaded him 
whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack, " 
who "destroyed so easily God's image, man," 
on whose account "the Son of God had to die," 
do you dare think of adorning yourselves "over 
and above your tunics of skins ? " " Are you to dye 

TKe Jeopardised Male 27I 

your hair or paint yourselves that your neighbours 
may perish?"'''' 

Tertullian argued that virgins as well as matrons 
should go veiled. Were not the virgin daughters 
of men the cause of the angels' sinning? "So 
perilous a face, then, ought to be shaded, which has 
cast stumbling-stones even so far as heaven. "''^ 
Clement of Alexandria was like-minded, urging 
women away from home, even in church, to go 
veiled. By not uncovering their face they would 
invite none to fall into sin or fall themselves.''^ 
Indeed so fearful a thing is comeliness and grace, 
so imperilled are all ages in your persons, declares 
Tertullian to both maids and matrons, that you 
must hide and neglect them, " Put on the panoply 
of modesty; . . . rear a rampart for your sex, 
across which none may even glance." ''^ 

Ever since the days of Clement and Tertullian 
men have been very urgent upon women to "dress 
modestly" for their sake. "For a woman to 
make her appearance in the society of young men 
with such displays of person as are made in what 
is so mistakenly called 'full dress,* is a shame to 
her," writes Timothy Titcomb, "for I know not 
one young man in one hundred who comes out of ' a 
full dress party' as pure and worthy a man as he 
went in." ''* As for the young man exposed on the 

272 TKe Old-FasKioned "Woman 

streets to an acquaintance "with rouged cheeks, 
blackened eyeHds, and enamelled complexion," 
although as a gentleman he may not "cut" her, 
he "may surely be excused for persisting in not 
meeting her eyes."* Some protection he must 

To objectify psychological peril seems to be a 
natural human tendency. Danger from without 
is so much easier to understand and meet — or 
dodge — than danger from within. For an Arab or 
a Carthaginian or Alexandrian Christian to call 
women "the whips of Satan "''^ or "the devil's 
gateway, " s° for a Hindu to believe that it is "the 
nature of women to seduce men" into slavery to 
desire or anger, ^^ for a Gaina to teach that women 
are "female demons" leading men "to pain, to 
delusion, to death, to hell, to birth as hell-beings 
or brute beasts, "^^ for a Frenchman to "chercher 
la femme," for an Anglo-Saxon to use the term 
"women" as a synonym for dissipation, is obvi- 
ously the line of least resistance. Moreover, it 
fosters that demeanour in women which most men, 
together with Clement and Tertullian, have called 
modesty and which they all have greatly valued, 

* Sensible Etiquette, pp. 282-3. Similarly the Brahman house- 
holder desirous of energy was warned not to look at a woman 
who applied collyrium to her eyes or anointed or uncovered 
herself. {Maim, iv, 44.) 

THe Jeopardised Male 273 

Clement and Tertullian because it secured their 
path to heaven, others, somewhat less foresighted, 
because, as a property safeguard, it protected 
them from theft, by themselves or others, and its 

Nevertheless, devised for self-protection or for 
self-delusion though it be, this objectifying of 
temptation cannot fail by a process of natural 
selection to develop at least one type of male 
courage. A dangerous woman makes a brave man, 
and it is after all the men most willing to take 
chances with women who father the race. 

For the sake of humanity can Woman therefore 

afford to forego her danger signals and appear 

less hazardous? The query is well worth the 

consideration of all our most esteemed Regulators 

of Sex, of Mrs. Grundy, of the Churchmen, of a 

Weininger or a Nietzsche. 



"X A rHETHER in direct or indirect self-protec- 
' » tion, the professional man at large, not 
alone the schoolman, has always wanted to shut 
women out of his calling, out of theology and 
politics, learning and pedagogy, law and medicine. 
The methods of the theologian are usually 
drastic and thorough. In South-Eastern Australia 
no woman trespasses on the initiation ground for 
fear of being killed by the magic scattered in it 
by the medicine-man. * If a Brazilian woman sees 
the Jurupari trumpets, a sacred kind of pipes, 
she is killed by poison.^ Should a Torres Straits 
woman see the men preparing the food for the 
"ghosts," she too would be killed.^ By merely 
touching a holy image, a Hindu woman — together 
with a dog or a Sudra — destroys its godship.'' 
Similarly, if a West African chief wishes to destroy 
his ju-ju, he has merely to show it to a woman. ^ 
Bini women are forbidden to look the leopard, a 
sacred animal, in the face. ^ In early Christendom 


THe E-xclvisive Sex 275 

women were enjoined not to approach the altar 
during mass 7 and in Greek churches to-day the 
gynaikonitis is curtained off from the altar.* 
Among the Pima, cosmological narrators will not 
talk with women around ' — a reserve customary in 
many other ecclesiastical circles. We remember 
too the hard life of the witch, the snubs given to 
worshipful widows by the churches, the reluctance 
of Gotama to consecrate women, and Paul's un- 
compromising order to them to "shut up," an order 
so scrupulously followed by Christians that until 
recently only the very heretical among them have 
ever called it into question. It has just been re- 
endorsed by the Presbyterian General Assembly. 

Women are quite generally excluded from a 
share in public affairs. The Nagas have a war 
stone no woman may look upon and live.*" In 
anti-suffrage argument a voting booth seems to be 
nearly as dangerous a spot for women. When you 
ask an East Central African mother whether the 
child in her arms is a boy or a girl, she answers, 
if it is a girl, "it belongs to the sex that does not 
speak " (in the village council) . ' ' Seldom, indeed, 
among savages have women a voice in the tribal 
council or among the governing Elders. So 
unquestioned until recently has been their dis- 
franchisement in civilisation that in many cases 

276 XHe Old-FasKioned W^oman, 

it did not even occur to lawmakers that in desig- 
nating citizens or taxpayers or heads of families 
as entitled to vote they might also be including 
women. New York did not formally restrict the 
franchise to males until 1777; Massachusetts until 
1780; England until the thirties; the Netherlands 
until 1883. And it was not until 1906 that any 
European state fully enfranchised women. Even 
where women vote in the United States the women 
members of the State legislature are seldom in- 
vited to the party caucuses ^^ or appointed to 
important committees. 

Nor until the last half-century were women ever 
expected to join publicly* in social reform move- 
ments. In 1837 the General Association of Massa- 
chusetts sent out a pastoral letter to its churches 
deploring "the mistaken conduct of those who 
encourage females to bear an obtrusive and osten- 
tatious part in measures of reform, and countenance 
any of that sex who so far forget themselves as to 
itinerate in the character of public lecturers and 
teachers."'^ The women referred to who had 
forgotten themselves were probably abolitionists. 
The women abolitionists had begun at this time 

* Or sometimes privately. "Eloignez avec un soin extrtoe 
toutes les pens^es de critique pr^somptueuse et de reformation 
indiscrete," F^nelon counsels the educators of girls. {De V Ed- 
ucation des Ftlles, ch. vii). 

THe Hxclxisive Sex 277 

to give men, abolitionists and anti-abolitionists, 
much trouble. In 1840 at the annual meeting of 
the Anti-Slavery Association the right of a woman* 
to serve on its business committee was challenged. 
The meeting voted in her favor, but on her appoint- 
ment the men on the committee, two of them 
clergymen, asked to be excused from serving. 
In this same year women delegates were sent by 
several American abolitionist societies to the con- 
vention of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery 
Society in London. The women came as a great 
surprise, for the Society had expected them so little 
that it had not even thought of limiting its invita- 
tion to men. So vigorous was the opposition of 
the clerical delegates, British and American, to 
the women, that they were denied seats in the con- 
vention — in accordance with "the plain teaching 
of the word of God.""' To the unseated women 
delegates the teaching seems not however to have 
been so plain; for on their return to the United 
States they organised their famous Woman's Rights 
Convention at Seneca Falls, the first of that series 
of gatherings which accustomed the public to 
women on the platform. 

So thorough were these pioneers that it is hard 
for us to realise to-day that in a coeducational col- 

♦ Abby Kelly. 

278 XHe Old-FasHioned \Sroman 

lege* courses in elocution were not open to the 
girls/ ^ that the mere appearance on the public 
platform of a woman provoked hisses, and that on 
many an occasion a vote was called for on her 
right to speak. Miss Anthony tells us that after 
complimenting her on a report on coeducation 
she had just made to a teachers' convention at 
Troy, the president of the Association added: 
"And yet I would rather follow a daughter of 
mine to the grave, than to have her deliver such 
an address before such an assembly. "^^ At a 
public meeting in Columbus, Ohio, a lady in the 
audience said to the Rev. Antoinette Brown after 
her address: "How could you doit? My blood 
ran cold when I saw you up there among those 
men!" "Why, are they bad men?" asked the 
preacher. "Oh, no! my own husband is one of 
them; but to see a woman mixing among men in 
promiscuous meetings, it was horrible!" ^^ 

As the universities were originally but a school 
for church and state, they were naturally not open 
to women. Their exclusion of women continued 
however long after the purpose of an academic 
education had become generalised. Margaret 
Fuller went with a man friend to the Sorbonne to 
hear Leverrier, the astronomer, lecture. " Mon- 

* Oberlin. 

TKe Hxclusive Sex 279 

sieur may enter if he pleases," said the concierge 
with a disdainful air, "but Madame must remain 
here in the courtyard"'^; and it was not until 
1862 that the Sorbonne gave its degree to a woman. 
The Universities of Cambridge and Oxford did 
not open their Local Examinations to women 
until 1863 and 1870. Until 1878 the University 
of London refused degrees to women and several 
universities still refuse them, — Cambridge and 
Oxford in England; Trinity in Ireland; Princeton 
and Harvard in the United States; the University 
of Tokio in Japan. 

The exclusion of girls from the schools which 
prepared for the universities was also a matter 
of course, and here, too, exclusive habits persisted 
after the schools were no longer merely "prepara- 
tory." In Massachusetts, for example, Boston 
girls were admitted to the "free schools" only 
during the summer term. Arithmetic was not in 
the summer curriculum, for of it, it was said," 
"all a girl needs to know is enough to reckon how 
much she will have to spin to buy a peck of po- 
tatoes in case she becomes a widow."* In its 
early days the town of Newburyport was even 

* At any rate, it was thought unnecessary for her to " under- 
stand it so perfectly as a man." "As her sphere of action is 
more confined," adds the New Pleasing Instructor (p. 12), "so her 
knowledge, in this respect, should be more confined likewise." 

28o TKe Old-FasKioned ^^^oman 

more cautious than Boston about schooling its 
girls. Admitted as in Boston in the summer 
"when the boys in the school had diminished," 
the master was directed to teach them grammar 
and reading for only an hour and a half "after the 
dismission of the boys. " Even this innovation 
was not established at once, for the master was 
at one time ordered "not to teach females 
again. "^° 

Aversion to coeducation has lingered on in 
New England. Not so long ago a President of 
Dartmouth College declares that "almost every 
department of study, including classical studies, 
inevitably touches upon certain regions of discus- 
sion and allusion . . . which cannot be treated 
as they ought to be in the presence of both boys 
and girls. "^' Whether because of this taboo of 
speech or for other reasons, girls are still excluded 
from many New England schools. It has never 
even been suggested, I think, to open St. Paul's 
or St. Mark's or Groton to them. 

In England likewise girls are still excluded from 
Eton and the other public schools which are the 
prototype of the American boarding-school. Nor 
are girls admitted to the boys' lycees or state high 
schools of France." 

There are to-day independent schools for girls 

TKe Exclvisive Sex 281 

in France; but in the sixteenth century when 
Frangoise de Saintoges wished to found a girls 
school she was hooted in the streets, and her father 
called together four doctors of law ''pour s assurer 
qu'tnstruire des femmes n'etait pas un ceuvre du 
demon.'' ""^ 

The first college for girls, Queen's College, an 
outgrowth of the Governesses' Benevolent Institu- 
tion and the forerunner of Girton, was founded in 
London in 1848. In an inaugural lecture one of 
its professors deplored its name — to English ears, 
he said, the word "college" in connection with the 
education of females has "a novel and ambitious 
sound." And he added: "I wish we could have 
found a simpler one which would have described 
our object as well."*'' If the boundary line of 
the "higher education" had indeed not been so 
blatantly proclaimed, it might have been easier 
to cross. Unprotected by phrases, parents might 
by this time have stopped asking you if you "be- 
lieve in sending a girl to college." Still naive 
enough to argue against "the higher education," 
they would hardly risk a stand against merely 
completing their daughter's schooHng. Nor does 
"she may have an education if she wants it," 
sound quite as liberal or advanced as "she may 
go to college if she wants, " the last stand of the 

282 TKe Old-KasHioned W^oman 

parent who has always tried to turn a girl away 
from every thought of going there. 

The intellectual damsels of the Renaissance 
were taught by tutors. The Humanists were 
down on governesses. "I allow women to learn; 
to teach, never," said Bruno. ^^ Nevertheless 
once systematic schooling for girls did set in, 
women school-teachers were bound to follow — 
largely for the same reasons which in the most 
conservative of countries, like India or the United 
States, have made possible the practice of law 
and medicine by women for women. Established 
in girls' schools, women teachers slipped into 
"mixed " and then into boys' schools, becoming so 
entrenched in them all — being far cheaper and, it 
is sometimes said, better teachers than men — that 
the periodic agitations against the feminisation of 
the schools prove fruitless. 

Against feminisation by women teachers, if 
not by women students, the universities still for 
the most part protect themselves. More than 
half a century ago Emerson wrote that "prescrip- 
tion almost invincible the female lecturer or pro- 
fessor of any science must encounter, "^'^ a pre- 
scription in this country little modified. In con- 
tinental Europe a few university chairs are held 
by women. 

THe Exclusive Sex 283 

Outside of the schools, the picking up of learn- 
ing or the practice of " letters " has also been dis- 
couraged in women. The Ka-to and Kai Porno 
of California forbid their women to study any of 
the Pomo dialects in which they are themselves 
fluent.^' The German abbot we have found so 
quotable was a little more liberal than the Cali- 
fomians. French he did not object to his trying 
interlocutor learning and reading, although at Latin 
books, as we have noted, he did draw the line. 
And he was not alone. ' ' From a braying mule and 
a girl who speaks Latin, good Lord, deliver us, " 
was a popular jest.** Now to Latin, a later and 
more famous ecclesiastic, Archbishop Fenelon, did 
not object — providing a girl was not overcurious. 
But no amount of discretion, the Archbishop 
seemed to think, could justify girls learning Italian 
or Spanish, languages of no use to them and only 
leading them to read books dangerous to their 
sex.*' For like reasons Viv^s, the celebrated 
Spanish tutor of the Renaissance, cut out French 
and Italian from his pupils' curriculum.^" 

And yet during the Renaissance in Spain and 
elsewhere, women seemed comparatively free to 
learn languages and to read whatever books they 
liked. Lady Jane Grey read Greek, Mary Stuart 
orated in Latin, and Queen Elizabeth translated 

284 TKe Old-KasKioned Woman 

The Mirror of the Sinful Soul from the French of 
Margaret of France. 

Margaret was quite as independent a lady as 
EUzabeth herself. In those days a woman was 
as severely chided for finding a second husband 
as for not finding a first. ^^ And Margaret married 
twice. She also wrote books, a far more question- 
able habit even in the Renaissance than reading 
them. " Some find it strange," says Jean Bouchet 
of one of the learned ladies of his day, that this 
lady employs her mind in composing books, saying 
that "this is not the business of her sex," a super- 
ficial judgment the gallant Frenchman at once 
controverts, opining, like some of our contem- 
poraries in trying to conciliate a suffragist, 
that women of position might well be learned 
— or have a vote — but the women without any 
should of course not be educated — or enfran- 
chised; they "must needs busy themselves 
with familiar and domestic matters, " whereas 
"queens, princesses, and other ladies who have 
men-servants and maids to relieve them of vul- 
gar tasks will do much better to use their minds 
and time in good and honorable study than in 
dancing and feasting. "^^ 

With this opinion of the Frenchman one often 
hears Americans — usually middle-aged gentlemen 

TKe Hxclvisive Sex 285 

— concurring. It is much better, they say, for 
a giri to have "serious interests" than to stay up 
all night dancing or spend all her time "calling." 
Let her be as "literary"* as she likes. We shall 
fail to fully appreciate the liberality of this con- 
cession — in the East at any rate — until we recall 
the fact that Hannah Adams shocked Boston when 
she took to reading in the Boston Athenaeum, ^^ 
or that Governor Winthrop believed that one 
of his guests, the young wife of the Governor of 
Connecticut, had gone insane "by occasion of 
giving herself wholly to reading and writing." 
(Had she "not gone out of her way and calling, " 
Governor Winthrop assures us, "to meddle in such 
things as are proper for men, whose minds are 
stronger, etc., she had kept her wits,t and might 
have improved them usefully and honourably in 
the place God had set her. ") 3'' 

From law as an offshoot of statecraft women have 
been logically excluded. Valerius Maximus tells 
us to be sure of a Roman woman, Afrania, wife 

* Brought up in a circle of society opposed to college-going for 
girls, the rather curious formula most commonly used to put me 
in my place during my college years was "I hear you are so 
literary, Miss Clews." 

t In the controversy over the University of London opening its 
examinations to women, it was argued that half the young ladies 
in the country would be in a brain fever or a lunatic asylum if they 
tried for them (Davies, p. 55). 

286 THe Old-FasKioned Woman 

of Licinius Bucco, a Senator, impudent enough 
to plead her own causes before the praetor. But 
her death occurred 48 B.C., the one event in the 
life of such a monster deserving record, adds 
the historian; and her name became a byword 
at Rome for unexampled feminine forwardness 
and immorality. After her day it was considered 
so inconsistent with modesty for women to mix 
themselves up in other people's affairs and to as- 
sume functions appropriate to men, according to 
a quotation from Ulpian in the Digests of Justinian, 
that no woman was allowed to practise law. ^s 
American lawyers held the same point of view as 
Roman. The Supreme Courts of Illinois, Wiscon- 
sin, Massachusetts, and of the United States re- 
fused to admit women to their bars until directed 
to by acts of the state legislatures and of the 
federal congress. In the opinion of the Supreme 
Court of Illinois a married woman would not be 
bound by contracts proper between attorney and 
client. ^^ In the opinions of the United States 
Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Wis- 
consin, it was bad public policy "to tempt women 
from the proper duties of their sex, " "the domestic 
sphere, " by opening to them a profession quite 
unfit for them. "It would be revolting to all 
female sense of the innocence and sanctity of their 

XKe ErXclusive Sex 287 

sex, shocking to man's reverence for womanhood 
and faith in woman, on which hinge all the better 
affections and humanities of life, that woman 
should be permitted to mix professionally in all 
the nastiness of the world which finds its way into 
courts of justice, . . . incest, rape, seduction, 
fornication, adultery, pregnancy, bastardy, legiti- 
macy, prostitution, lascivious cohabitation, abor- 
tion, infanticide, divorce,"^' an enumeration which 
suggests that the Court of Wisconsin was think- 
ing of protecting but one group of women only 
from itself. The English bar still protects women 
in this way, not admitting them on the ground, 
some say, that they would have to dine periodically 
with the men lawyers. 

On what given grounds French women were 
excluded until 1899 from the French bar, I do 
not know, nor why Russian women, like English 
women, have been disqualified. In Russia, how- 
ever, a bill has been pending* in the Douma quali- 
fying women to practise law. ^ ^ 

There is still in many court rooms a tendency to 
question the presence of women at cases "not fit 
for a lady to hear." At a recent trial for rape in 
Chicago, for example, counsel for the defence 
asked to have the two women present — a truant 

* Whether or not it has been passed I have not heard. 

288 TKe Old-FasHioned "Woman 

officer and an agent of the Vice Commission — 
leave the court room. The Judge, however, al- 
lowed them to remain. To one of them the little 
girl who occupied the witness chair for a day and 
a half said later: "The men [there were about 
seventy-five of them in the court room] looked at 
each other and smiled at what I said; that was 
what made me get nervous and jerk so."* 

In medicine female encroachment is no novelty. 
In very few primitive societies can women be kept 
altogether from doctoring, and in their competi- 
tion with medicine- women, medicine-men are 
sometimes worsted. The Kirghiz call in their 
"old women" before they resort to their medicine- 
men.^' More important than the papa in Greek 
and Bulgarian villages is the old woman who drives 
away the demon of fever and diagnoses illness by 
the position taken by the knot in her scarf as she 
measures it along her patient's arm.''" In the 
Congo, husband and wife sometimes practised 
medicine together, and with equal privileges, 
but we hear of one case in which the woman, a 
stomach and lung specialist, must have got the 
better of her original doctor mate, having come to 
run a polyandrous establishment.''^ After many 

* The Social Evil in Chicago, p. 274. The Vice Commission 
suggested excluding men from the court room in such cases. 

XKe Elxclvisive Sex 289 

adventures Thecla, Paul's convert from Iconium, 
settled down in a mountain cave in Seleucia to 
practise medicine. So successful were her cures 
that the Seleucian doctors lost their clientele'^'' — 
and, like the Athenian doctors down on Agnodice, 
their tempers.* Sozomen, an early Christian his- 
torian, relates that Nicarete, a "vowed virgin" of 
Bithynia, worked cures beyond the skill of the lay 
doctor. ''^ At Esslingen there once lived too "a 
great virgin" who outwitted even the most famous 
physicians with her magic '•'' — a lady whom Pearson 
identifies with one of the ancient healing goddesses 
of that Mother Age so greatly rejoiced in by him 
and other encouragers of womankind. 

Mediaeval lay doctors must have been at a dis- 
advantage too in competition with the nuns of 
Walton, who had the healing waters of their holy 
well to draw upon,"*^ or with such noted eye- 
specialists as Saint Lucia and Saint Ottilia, or with 
Soeur Jeanne des Anges whose cures were famous 
enough to bring Cardinal Richelieu to her feet.''^ 

Lucia and Ottilia were canonised by the Church ; 
and the tomb of Soeur Jeanne it suffered to become 
a shrine for pilgrims; but outside of the cloister 
women healers ran great risk from ecclesiastical 

* They claimed that Thecla 's power was due to her chastity, 
and they resorted to one of the expedients often used by men to 
show a woman her place {Acts of Paul and Thecla). 

290 XKe Old-KasKioned W^oman 

suspicions. Ann Hutchinson was exiled from 
Massachusetts to a colony whose standards were 
lower — and pleasanter. Margaret Jones was hung 
for a witch — so simple were her medicines and yet 
so wonderful her cures. ''^ The Brahman tells 
women that it is their duty "not to practise 
incantations with roots or other kinds of witch- 
craft, " and "decent" women are warned not to 
have anything to do with women who practise 
"magic with herbs. "''^ Even Madame Guy on 
was accused of sorcery by the "envious"'*' and 
eventually thrown into prison. 

Backed up by an organised church, the doctor 
attempts to fully down the doctress, forcing her to 
practise on the sly and at great risk. Nevertheless 
not until the last witch was burned or hung was 
even the doctor of our civilisation freed from at 
least potential female competition. And then his 
monopoly was short-lived. It was but little more 
than a century from the hanging of Margaret Jones 
to the entrance of Elizabeth Blackwell into the 
Blockley almshouse in Philadelphia as an interne. 

But the men doctors have fought hard against 
the women. The men internes at Blockley stepped 
out of the wards as Dr. Blackwell stepped 
in. They stopped posting the patient's history 
above his bed, thus handicapping their obnoxious 

TKe El-xclvasive Sex 291 

colleague in diagnosis, 5° a device a distinguished 
woman doctor* in Washington tells me was tried 
against her when she was an interne in the hospitals 
of Germany. Until 1859 the Philadelphia County 
Medical Society threatened to expel any physician 
teaching in the Woman's Medical College or con- 
sulting with its teachers. 5' When in 1872 the 
London University declared women eligible to its 
degrees, physicians throughout England protested 
against the innovation, declaring, like the Harvard 
medical students,! that it lessened the value of 
their own degrees. In 1887, the New York College 
of Physicians and Surgeons refused to accept 
endowed scholarships for women, and it still ex- 
cludes women students. 

Medical exclusiveness has not gone unsupported 
by the lay public. When Dr. Longshore set up 
her sign in Philadelphia, it attracted a mocking 
crowd. ^^ While Elizabeth Blackwell was in the 
medical school at Geneva, a doctor's wife at the 
table of her boarding-house would not speak to 
her, the townspeople stared at her in the streets 
and in general gave her to understand they thought 
she was either "a bad woman "| or insane. In 

* Dr. Nordhoff-Jung. f See p. 258. 

% The usual sneer against the pioneer woman. Agnodice was 
charged with corrupting her patients, Sappho, her disciples. I 
venture to say that to-day any American woman advocating any 

292 XKe Old-FasKionecl "Woman 

later years, forced to found her own hospital in 
New York City, she received insolent letters ^^ 
telling her that her hospital would be under enough 
suspicion for the police to interfere.* 

Exclusive as men have been in their professions, 
they are even more so in daily life. "A lady never 
calls upon a gentleman unless professionally or 
officially,"! instructs a much read American book 
on Manners, t To close his house to every woman, 
whether on business or otherwise, a Bavili of 
Loango has only to put a few leaves of manioc, 
banana, or palm tree about the latch of his 
door.^"* An Anglo-Saxon says "you can't reason 
with a woman" to close the argument. Belief 
in "woman's sphere," or, in more modern terms, 
"disbelief in identity of function between the 

radical social change would be pilloried as "immoral." The 
author of a fairly conservative text-book on the family tells me 
that after it had been given some newspaper notoriety she re- 
ceived letters from all over the country telling her what a "bad" 
woman she must be, and, in more than one case, asking if she had 
not been so professionally. 

* An empty taunt, for in this case even the New York Police 
Department declined to interfere. 

t Part of the selling success of The Fruit of the Tree was due, I 
think, to the discussion provoked by it in polite circles whether or 
not the heroine should have "called" upon the hero or quasi hero. 

t Hale, Sarah J., Manners, p. 223. Boston and New York, 
1889. Its sub-title is Happy Homes and Good Society All the 
Year Round, and it is dedicated to "all who seek for happiness 
in this life, or for the hope of happiness in the life to come." 

The Hxclvisive Sex 293 

sexes, " justifies most men in locking women out 
of any place they call their own. Only with 
women confined to "Kirche, Kiiche, und Kinder'^ 
do William III and many other bellicose men seem 
to feel quite safe from invasion. "Not that we 
believe in identity of function," qualifies Mr. 
Roosevelt to reassure his less progressive followers, 
suspicious of the vote as an open sesame for their 
womankind. Equally devoted to this disbelief, the 
Todaskeep whole villages shut to women, ^^ South 
Africans forbid women to enter their villages by 
the paths taken by the men, ^^ and no well brought 
up girl in Cambridge, Massachusetts, would think 
of taking a short-cut across the campus. 

Women are excluded from other regions besides 
walks and arguments. Of the causes of divorce in 
Connecticut in 1704 we are informed by a well 
trained lady that they are not "proper to be related 
by a Female Pen. "^v "j^ h^g been inculcated 
in women, for centuries, that men have not only 
stronger passions than they, but of a sort that it 
would be shameful for them to share or even under- 
stand, " remarks Margaret Fuller. Hence to the 
"good" woman a "bad" man may readily seem 
only "bold and adventurous, acquainted with re- 
gions which women are forbidden to explore — ."^^ 
A strange advantage, when you come to think of 

294 XKe Old-FasKionecl "Woman 

it, for his rivals to have left so long undisputed to 
the "bold, bad man." 

Less strange, perhaps, is the exclusion of women 
from the privilege, such as it is, of enjoying their 
own company. There is a very strong tradition 
in all classes that away from home a woman must 
never be alone — except when it cannot be helped. 
It is one of those facts about which to be at all con- 
vincing you must give personal experiences. I give 
my latest. On a walking trip this autumn in New 
Hampshire I dropped in one mid-day at a guber- 
natorial campaign meeting. Unconcealed was the 
candidate's surprise to find that I was "alone," 
not only in the town hall, but in his State. Early 
that evening in the village street, in front of the 
post-office, to which every one was going for the in- 
coming mail, a village yokel asked me, with an un- 
mistakable emphasis, if I was alone. A day or so 
later I was home in New York and had occasion 
to go to a trial in the Criminal Courts building. 
"I kept two seats for you, " said the well-mannered 
young clerk of the District Attorney's office, "for 
I thought you would certainly not come down here 
alone.'' In the place in the court room to which 
I was shown sat an acquaintance. "What, are 
you alone? What a brave woman," he remarked, 
and considerately took the seat next to mine to 

TKe Exclusive Sex 295 

keep me, I suppose, from feeling embarrassed in 
the court room. — Still more recently returning from 
Yucatan, I fell into talk on the train with the wife 
of an American engineer whose perspicacious New 
York office had just ordered all the women and 
children in its camps out of Mexico. My exiled 
acquaintance had been telling me of the success of 
coeducation in her college, the University of Texas. 
"And throughout Texas," she continued, "it is 
just the same; except that women have n't a vote, 
they are treated just like the men." " Do you 
go out alone at night ? " I asked. "Would you in 
San Antonio go to the play alone, if you happened 
to want to? " " No," and a little perplexed, she 
added: " I never thought of that before." Then 
with a look of relief at being after all able to 
make her point, she said : " But two women could 
go together and no one would say anything" — 
vamos siempre dos as the wife of a fisherman at 
Campeche had said a few days before after asking 
me the question which opened all conversation in 
Mexico, "'std solai " So courteous are Mexican 
manners that I never knew what chance my ans- 
wer, " si, sola,' had of being believed. Back in New 
York when I was again called upon to reiterate it 
incidentally to the curious about Mexico, it was 
easy to realize it had no chance whatsoever. 


THE ladies' gallery AND AMAZONS 

/~\DDLY enough in the clamoiirs of sex contro- 
^^ versy men's chief claim to superiority is 
rarely emphasised. To have kept half the worid 
their interested spectators for innumerable cen- 
turies is surely no meagre achievement. Not 
once have they had to step off the stage. Recently 
to be sure their audiences in some parts of the 
globe, notably in the United States, have been 
showing signs of becoming a little bored — they are 
growing restless. Perhaps the stage management 
has been getting slack. 

No matter how uncritical your onlookers, it 
is rash to grow careless. Secret society men, who 
are of all actors the most dependent on their 
audience, always realise the imprudence of not 
playing up; they always take a great deal of 
trouble with their womenfolk. Kumai initiates 
walk around the hidden parts of the encampment 
swinging the bull-roarer to frighten the women by 
making them believe it is the voice of Tundun, the 


XKe Ladies* Gallery and Amazons 297 

Great Spirit. Shotild a Chepara man give the 
show away by letting a woman see the bull-roarer, 
both he and she would be killed by the tribal 
medicine-man.* The Torres Straits Islanders 
insist on the women believing in their disguised 
ghost dancers. Were a woman to find them out, 
"she died that night."' In the Banks' Islands 
the Tamate men chase the women through the 
village and beat those they catch. ^ During the 
periodic secret society shows of the Tatu Indians, 
the chief actor, a devil of a fellow, charges among 
the squaws. The Gualala Californian woman is 
made to believe that were she merely to touch the 
stick of the devil dancer, her children would die. '^ 
When civilised American girls ask impertinent 
questions of a Greek letter society man, he has 
to turn on his heel and leave her — whatever his 

Roles of mystery and exclusiveness are by far 
the easiest ways of holding popular interest; but 
such powerful appeals to the imagination have, in 
course of time, to be given up. Everywhere eso- 
tericism tends to go out of fashion and democracy 
to come in. Egugun of Yorubaland has become 
a joke to the men and, as we have seen, even the 
women have to be forbidden to laugh at him. I 
doubt if Masons can any longer get their wives to 

298 THe Old-FasKioned Woman 

take them seriously. Since the secret societies of 
American colleges have been written up* and boys 
have been known to decline election to them, 
American giris are sure to become frivolous about 

Handicapped by a general demand for publicity 
and democracy, men have had one other reliable 
device to depend upon in dealing with women — 
giving them minor parts. We have already noted 
how even the Church has had from time to time 
to resort to this plan, how women have been allowed 
to keep house for the gods, to earn an income for 
them through mendicancy, prostitution, or handi- 
craft, to sing and dance for them, and even to be 
their mouthpieces. How to give women enough 
to do along these lines to secure their devotion and 
interest without making them independent has 
ever been, we observed, a nice question for the 
priesthood, one they have often met by bringing 
their devotees into an intimate personal relation- 
ship with themselves. We recall the digamic pro- 
phetesses of the Pelew Islands and the nautch 
girls of India. "The nun is the wife of the monk," 
is a saying of the Chinese layman. ^ The intimacies 
between the Brethren and Sisters of the early 
centuries and the relations between the "double 

* Johnson, Owen, Stover at Yale. New York, 191 1. 

TKe Ladies* Gallery and Amazons 299 

monasteries" in a later period made an analogous 
impression upon lay Christendom. 

From time to time the Christian mystic is herself 
a witness to her equivocal position. Of her relation 
to Father La Combe, her director, Madame Guyon 
writes: "My heart had in it as it were a counter- 
part, or an echo, which told it all the dispositions 
which he was in. . . . Our hearts spoke to each 
other, communicating a grace which no words 
can express. It was like a new country, both for 
him and for me, but so divine, that I cannot de- 
scribe it. "^ Even more direct than the French 
prophetess is the Spanish. "I saw our Lord in the 
form under which He is wont to appear to me, ' ' 
writes Teresa of Spain of one of the visions of her 
"heavenly bridegroom." "On His right side was 
Father Gracian and I myself was on His left. He 
took both oiu: right hands, and joining them in 
His own, said to me : This is he whom I will have 
stand to thee in my place as long as thou shalt 
live. "7 

We have noted too that kings and statesmen 
have been wont to secure feminine devotion in the 
same way as priests, that the Ccoya of Peru repre- 
sented the Moon, that the Queen of Egypt served 
in the temples with the Pharaoh, and that many 
an Asiatic queen bore the name of the goddess 

300 TKe Old-FasKioned ^^oman 

consort of her husband's god. European princesses 
have to receive visits, lay comer-stones, attend 
bazaars, and be present ceremonially at festivities. 
The wives of American statesmen perform a card 
ceremony supposed in some way to affect their 
husband's career, and outside of Washington they 
are said to "help" their husband in Washington. 
Lately political wives have even been encouraged 
to form women's auxiliaries in their husband's 
political districts. 

But lately too in many places politicians have 
been giving minor political functions to women 
quite irrespective of husbands. In Colorado, the 
office of State Superintendent of Public Instruc- 
tion is regularly held by a woman; only once 
from 1894 to 1909 was a man nominated for it 
by either of the two leading parties. In some 
Colorado counties it is the custom to appoint a 
woman the deputy county clerk, treasiu*er, or 
assessor. In some of the smaller towns the offices 
of city treasurer or city clerk are always given to a 
woman* — often to needy widows.^ Throughout 

* And yet since the early years of equal suffrage in Colorado, 
women have lost ground, except in the school system, in the 
distribution of elective offices. Party leaders have discovered 
that to keep women under the party whip they do not have to 
yield them as many offices as they first thought necessary. 
(Sumner, pp. 147-8.) 

THe Ladies* Gallery and Amazons 301 

the United States and in many European countries 
there are women factory and sanitary and school 
inspectors, poHce matrons, poor law administra- 
tors, women employees in the postal and telegraph 
services, and women clerks in other government 
departments. The Provincial Government of 
Moscow has appointed women as fire insurance 
agents. In France there is a woman member of 
the state boards of education, of labour, and of 
charity. In Austria a woman is chief of the Sani- 
tary Bureau of the Labour Department.' Presi- 
dent Taft appointed a woman head of the 
Children's Bureau, the new bureau in the Depart- 
ment of the Interior. During the last national 
campaign the Republican National Committee 
organised a "Woman's Department. " Its Advis- 
ory Board established headquarters in New York 
on the fifteenth floor of the Waldorf Hotel, where 
they distributed "literature" and to which they 
invited "representative women" to come — to 
meet each other. 

Outside of Church and State, many new oppor- 
tunities have been given to women during the last 
half- century to work for men — opportunities in 
teaching, in medicine, in business. It is a striking 
fact that some of these opportunities are embraced 
more contentedly by women than others. School- 

302 TKe Old-FasKionecl "Woman 

teachers are comparatively restless and ambitious, 
whereas the trained nurse never dreams of pro- 
motion in her profession and has an even greater 
contempt than her chief for the woman doctor. 
"Woman was designed to be the helpmeet for 
man ... it is appropriate that man be the 
physician and woman the nurse, ^' a Quaker 
physician once declared to Dr. Blackwell,'" laying 
with these words one of the comer-stones of the 
profession of nursing. 

"Business women" are also as a rule satisfied 
with their position. Shop girls resist trade union- 
ism. Stenographers make no demands for "equal 
pay for equal work. " As for women clerks and 
secretaries, they are said to do office work so well, 
not merely because they do not clamour to be made 
partners, but because "they develop a sort of 
wolfish wifehood on behalf of the invisible head of 
the firm. "" Can it be that in applying the help- 
meet theory physicians and business men have 
established a more satisfactory relationship with 
the women who work under them than school 
superintendents ? 

In comparison with housewives, too, trained 
nurses and "business women" seem, at least in 
the United States, particularly content with their 
lot. The women who are classified in the Amer- 

TKe Ladies* Gallery and Amazons 303 

ican census as N. G. — "not gainful" — are in fact 
of a peculiarly dissatisfied type. One of their 
observers declares that the corners of their mouths 
habitually turn down. Moreover the very women 
who made cheerful and devoted stenographers and 
professional housekeepers and nurses may make 
peevish and incompetent wives. For a man to 
marry "beneath him" is much more a matter of 
faiilty reasoning than of questionable taste. 

And yet American husbands have such a good 
reputation, none better. Where else can husbands 
be found so hardworking for their families, so 
generous about bills, so uninterfering in the house- 
hold arrangement, so unobtrusive in the bring- 
ing up of the children, so tolerant of a wife's 
friends of either sex, or so blind to feminine 

How comes it then that the American housewife 
is so discontented? Why has she deserved the 
reproach of being the most unquiet and the most 
disquieting part of man's audience? 

Can it be that American husbands, thanks to 
their notorious indifference to feminine psychology, 
have misinterpreted their wives? It has long 
been a joke with most men that a woman would 
rather work for a man than for another woman; 
but outside of the criminal classes and a stray 

304 THe Old-FasKioned "Woman 

writer or painter who keeps his wife happy reading 
his proof or posing for him, it has occurred to 
comparatively few men in this country that a 
woman would rather work for a man than have him 
work for her. When Mr. Donohue staid in bed 
in the morning to teach Mrs. Donohue a lesson, ^ ^ 
it was a good joke, but was it quite as good as 
Mr. Donohue — or Mr. Dunne — thought? Or was 
the judge who granted a woman a divorce the other 
day because her husband habitually took his 
breakfast in bed quite justified — at least on the 
aforesaid point? Is it possible that as soon as 
women keep house for themselves as well as for 
one another they get tired of housekeeping — 
mistress as well as maid? And can this be the 
explanation in part of the apartment house vogue 
as well as of the vexatious servant girl question? 
Why does public housekeeping seem more alluring 
to women at present than private? May not 
even race suicide be due to the prevailing theory 
that in the number of her children a woman has 
only herself to satisfy? Wherever a woman has to 
give proof of her fertility in order to marry well 
and wherever a wife's prestige grows with every 
son, barrenness is her greatest curse. 

Then too in foregoing actual wife-beating were 
Americans a little precipitate in undervaluing the 

THe Ladies* Gallery and A-mazons 305 

psychological whip as well? May they have been 
too quick to conclude that because a woman as a 
rule does not like the one, she dislikes the other? 
Or that because primitive man bullies woman only 
as a sex, no other line of browbeating is open to 
civilised man? 

Have American men been even a little selfish 
in their unselfishness? It is possible they may 
never have noticed that women liked to be bullied 
or to wait on men, but is it certain that their reluct- 
ance to issue orders to "pay, pack, and follow," 
to many women besides Lady Burton a formula of 
happiness, is not also due to a desire to protect 
their own "sense of chivalry"? 

For "the chivalry of American manhood" to be 
properly protected, American women have also to 
be "protected." And so American men punctil- 
iously go on taking the outside of the walk — a 
habit which seems to have held over from the days 
when there were no sidewalks and to give a person 
the wall was indeed a courtesy. In certain circles 
men also support a woman's elbow across the 
curbs. They insist on paying her carfare or other 
expenses even when she prefers to pay them herself. 
They never sit while she stands, forcing her, like 
royalty, to sit down when she would rather stand. 
In cars, playhouses, or churches they always take 

306 XHe Old-FasKioned W^oman 

the end seat on the theory that although it is the 
pleasantest it is also the most exposed. They will 
have a woman go first — through a door or into a 
lifeboat — whatever inconvenience or tragedy such 
precedence may cause her. They even "help" 
her over a fence when obviously they should 
but turn their back on her — or take her into 
their arms. 

Of course I do not wish to be understood as deny- 
ing that American chivalry needs no protection. 
It does appear to be frail. One hears of women 
kept as a sex out of men's clubs — in the case of one 
country club I know of, to the applicants' real in- 
convenience — merely because the members are fear- 
ful they might sometime have to blackball a woman 
or be "rude" to her. Then chivalry is so easily 
hurt by contact with an "unwomanly woman. " 
In the days, for example, when it was generally 
considered very unladylike to study medicine, 
women medical students met with curious experi- 
ences. Once Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell presented 
a sealed letter of introduction from a Boston 
physician to a distinguished Frenchman. ^^ The 
letter proved to be nothing but an insult to her.* 
In the clinic of the Philadelphia hospital where 

* Later in their acquaintance its recipient gave her the letter 
to read, pointing out that for future self-defence she should know 

THe Ladies* Gallery and A.mazons 307 

Dr. Blackwell had been ostracised by her male 
colleagues, the male students one day introduced 
a male patient entirely nude in order to "shock" 
the girls studying with them. ^'' Among lawyers 
and lawmakers the unwomanly woman may also 
work havoc. Judges themselves have recognised 
the danger. In denying in 1869 Mrs. Bradwell's 
application for admission to the bar, the Supreme 
Court of Illinois cautioned woman as follows: 
"Whether ... to engage in the hot strifes of 
the bar, in the presence of the public and with 
momentous verdicts the prizes of the struggle, 
would not tend to destroy the deference and deli- 
cacy with which it is the pride of our ruder sex to 
treat her, is a matter certainly worthy of her con- 
sideration. " ^ ^ sjie certainly has to admit at 
times the truth of this observation. It was once 
proved, for example, by a group of New York 
women engaged in petitioning the legislature for 
equal suffrage and for equal rights to the inherit- 
ance of matrimonial property. Reporting ad- 
versely upon their petitions, the chairman of the 
Judiciary Committee pointed out to his hilarious 

its contents. And yet her American doctor friends had urged 
her not to study in Paris. "You, a young unmarried lady . . . 
go to Paris, that city of fearful immorality! . . . Impossible, 
you are lost if you go!" {Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical 
Profession to Women, p. 63.) 

3o8 XKe Old-FasKioned "Woman 

colleagues the unreasonableness of the female 
lobbyists, for "the ladies always have the best 
place and choicest titbit at the table," said he. 
"They have the best seat in the cars, carriages, 
and sleighs; the warmest place in winter, and the 
coolest place in the summer. They have their 
choice on which side of the bed they will lie, front 
or back. A lady's dress costs three times as 
much as that of a gentleman ; and at the present 
time, with the prevailing fashion, one lady oc- 
cupies three times as much space in the world as a 

A disorderly house is of course no fitter place 
for a lady than was once a clinic or a court-room 
or a legislative chamber, and so perhaps it is not 
so amazing to find that girls imprisoned in them 
are very rarely helped to escape by their patrons. 
Last year New Yorkers heard* of how the daughter 
of a well-known family who had been kidnapped 
and held a prisoner was for three weeks unsuccess- 
ful in finding a knight able to see a dragon in the 
keeper of the house and in herself a pitiful victim. 

Untested protective theories have long been 
popular in America — applied to chivalry or women, 
to cotton goods or steel rails. A few years ago, 
however, an expert commission on the tariff was 

* Not through the newspapers. 

TKe Ladies* Gallery and Amazons 309 

secured. Now that this commission has reported 
on the most urgent economic schedules and been 
told by a self-sufficient Congress there is nothing 
more for it to do for American trade, might it not 
be directed to draw up a revised schedule for 
American chivalry, determining how much "pro- 
tection" is necessary to a successful appeal to the 
feminine imagination. Surely in the United 
States as elsewhere 

" Every Jack must study the knack 
If he wants to make sure of his Jill." 

Certain industrial trusts have reported of late 
that over-protection is actually harmful, and unless 
men do something about it before long, is it not 
possible that, outside of comparatively small pro- 
fessional or business circles, they may look up 
some day to find their ladies' gallery quite empty ? 
The ability of Americans to play to empty galleries 
is notorious, but our countrymen may find this 
particular dispersal discouraging. 

And yet, incurable sentimentalists as they are, 
they may not mind the vacancy at all, for does not 
their inattention to details in relation to this 
gallery justify a suspicion that they have been 
thinking more of their own attitudes than of its 
occupants? For example, should they not have 

310 XKe Old-KasKioned "Woman 

raised a grille in front of it? The enclosed ladies' 
gallery in the House of Commons is certainly more 
stimulating to the feminine imagination than the 
open balcony in the House of Representatives. 
And when it comes to leaving, would not women 
prefer to be forcibly ejected, padlocks, railings, 
and all, than to have their exit excite no notice 

Again, would it not be much more satisfactory 
to American women for their men to say with 
the Englishmen, ''We shall give you the vote," 
or even "We shall not give it to you" than for 
them not to vote at all on the question when it 
is submitted to them at the polls or to close the 
subject in the drawing-room with, "You women 
shall have the vote as soon as you want it"? It 
may be good strategy, the feminine habit of want- 
ing things through men only being so ingrained, 
but is such masculine indifference magnanimous? 

When William Lloyd Garrison was a delegate to 
the London anti-slavery congress he sat with the 
disfranchised women delegates in the spectators' 
gallery. Following his example, were men nowa- 
days to refuse to vote themselves until women did, 
would women be altogether pleased? Would it 
be fair to so utterly deprive them of the salt of 
male arrogance? 

TKe Ladies* Gallery and A.mazons 311 

Whatever the reasons, Europeans certainly 
give themselves a good deal more trouble than 
Americans to find out what women like. And they 
refuse to believe that normal women can be more 
interested in each other than in men. I doubt if 
a European who had never visited the United 
States could be persuaded that women ever dressed 
for women or organised clubs or wrote stories or 
"entertained" for them. An American women's 
lunch party would have to be seen — or heard — to 
be believed. 

The European doubts too that women ever 
surmise that second-hand interests like second- 
hand clothes may not fit. An Englishman will 
remind you that the most conspicuous feminist 
movement of the eighteenth century was named 
after a man's pair of stockings, that contempo- 
raneous militant suffrage was inspired by a pater 
familicB, and that the heroine whom equal suf- 
fragists have taken for a symbolic figure in their 
parades lost her life for the sake of a man. To 
English or to any other European eyes the most 
self-assertive woman never seems to be stepping 
out of her gallery; she seems merely to be doing 
it over to look like an office or a workshop or a 

To the ancients, too, oriental or occidental, it 

312 THe Old-FasHioned "Woman 

was inconceivable that women living with men 
coiild fail to be supremely interested in them. 
And so when they had to find a habitat for the 
Amazons they segregated them at the ends of the 
Chinese Sea or among the outer barbarians, in re- 
gions remote from culture and almost as unknown 
in those days as the New World. It was left for 
that world alone to have the originality to seat 
its Amazons at the breakfast table. 



T IKE other primitive habits, "mourning" has 
*-^ been rationalised, but it is not difficult to 
follow its history back to the time when ghosts 
were important members of society. Prone as 
they were to interfere in the affairs of the living, 
it was necessary either to keep them at a distance, 
or, if that was not possible, in a good humour. 
Strict attention to their wants, at their funeral 
and afterwards, was, therefore, for the timid, 
expedient — particularly if they were ghosts of 

We have been speaking, of course, primarily 
of male ghosts. As rank in death is largely deter- 
mined by that in life, female ghosts are usually of 
little account. At Saa, for example, a village 
in Melanesia, — all Melanesia is notable for its 
ghostly snobbishness, — it is quite settled that no 
woman's soul can be a ghost of power, a lio'a, but 

only an akalo, a departed spirit.^ A like insig- 


314 XKe Old-FasHioned "Woman 

nificance must attach to women's ghosts in the 
Islands of Torres Straits. The Islanders drink 
the juices of mtunmifying corpses in order to 
become impregnated with the qualities of the 
deceased. The juices of dead women are never 
drunk. ^ Nor, in fact, in the many places where 
this kind of magical cannibalism does exist, does 
one ever hear of female titbits. Sometimes a 
dead first wife, spiteful against a living second, 
or a woman dead in childbirth against a success- 
ful mother, may have to be exorcised or placated, 
but as a rule female ghosts rarely walk and are 
too insignificant to require much care from their 
kinsmen. Their valuation is patent at their 
funerals, far less elaborate and costly affairs than 
those of men. "Mourning" for women is also 
more economical, being less characterised by 
bodily mutilations, by village or house movings, 
or by destruction of property. 

Compare widower with widow rites. An Aus- 
tralian widow bums her body with a fire stick 
or becomes a mute or carries her husband's bones 
around with her for months ■' — attentions never ren- 
dered a deceased wife by her widower. Whereas 
African widows fast and sequester themselves, 
and go unwashed or mud bedaubed or nude, African 
widowers only shave their heads — as unexacting 

Sex After DeatK 315 

in comparison as wearing a black hatband instead 
of a crape veil. For three years a Tolkotin widow- 
must carry her husband's ashes on her back, weed 
out his grave, and be tyrannised over by his vil- 
lage. A Tolkotin widower is expected to pass 
through a like ordeal but — he runs away. '' 

And we hear of no evil consequences. On the 
other hand widows, anywhere, who shirk their 
obligations run, as we have noted, a great risk — 
especially if they remarry too soon, the jealous 
marital ghost being sure to punish them or their 
second husbands. Although remarriage is gen- 
erally taboo to widowers too during a set time, 
the period is much shorter and the only penalty 
one ever hears of for its non-observance is the 
covert reproach that John Smith, the widower, 
could not have been really very fond of his late 
lamented Mary Jane. 

Nor, unlike widows, are widowers suicidal. 
A widower is never bullied or, like the Hindu 
widow, cajoled into following the deceased. He 
is comparatively free to escape from a reproachful 
or tormenting family; nor would promotion in a 
ghostly harem or perhaps even a long conjugal 
life in heaven appeal to him. 

In spite of threats or bribes the immolated is 
far commoner than the suicidal widow, the suttee. 

3i6 TKe Old-FasKioned A^oman 

A real chief should always be accompanied in 
death by one or more women. They are necessary 
to his ghostly position and comfort. So undoubted 
is this view of the posthumous requirements of 
rank in early culture, that the slaves, sometimes 
even the male slaves, of women of high rank are 
immolated at their funerals also, considerations 
of rank overcoming those of sex. Brynhild of 
Germany orders to be burned with her and Sigurd 
her own thralls, five women and eight men; and 
Austrechilde makes her husband. King Goutran, 
promise to kill her two physicians when she dies — 
for company. 5 In 1633 a queen of Bali died and 
twenty-two of her slave women were first stabbed 
and then burned in her honour. In accordance 
with custom her own corpse was conducted with 
great pomp to the funeral pyre and for five or 
six weeks afterwards her water vessels, betel-box, 
clothes, and toilet articles were set out daily before 
her calcined bones; then a band played and her 
bones were devoutly washed.^ In some minds 
at least, if not in Melanesian, women may have 
prestige in ghost land. 

Funeral immolations ceased to be the fashion 
among Aryans, but entrance into heaven has 
ever been made agreeable for titled ladies. At 
the New England funeral of Lady Andros volleys 

Sex After DeatK 317 

were fired over her grave, her hearse was drawn 
by six horses, and six "mourning" women sat in 
front of the draped pulpit^ — an advance upon 
immolating them. When the Grand Duchess 
Paul died, the Prelate of the Russian Church is 
said to have written to his "master and friend, St. 
Peter, the gate-keeper of the Lord Almighty: We 
announce to you that the servant of the Lord, 
Her Imperial Highness, the Grand Duchess Paul, 
has finished her life on earth, and we order you 
to admit her into the Kingdom of Heaven without 
delay, for we have absolved all her sins and granted 
her salvation. You will obey our order on sight 
of this document which we put into her hand. "^ 

Such a passport to heaven would be greatly 
prized by the tribeswomen of Assam. The ghost 
of their First Man guards the approach to Mi-thi- 
Khua, the village of the dead. Infants and men 
who have been often in love he may not molest, 
but at women he always shoots. ^ 

There are peoples among whom even a Russian 
passport would be unhonoured, since they hold 
that no woman, whatever her rank, has a soul. 
The For of Central Africa eat liver, the seat, they 
say, of the soul, to increase their own.'" But, 
instead of encouraging their women, whom they 
account soulless, to ensure themselves a future 

3i8 XKe Old-FasKioned "Woman 

life, by eating a great deal of liver, they forbid 
them to touch it.* In view of their objectionable 
origin, Nusairiyeh Arab women are also naturally 
without a future — "like animals," adds an Arab 
writer. ^ ' 

Wherever "salvation" depends upon an "initia- 
tion" or upon a knowledge of sacred texts, the future 
life of women is uncertain. In New South Wales, 
for example, it was well known that the uninitiated, 
women (and boys) , did not go to the men's heaven, 
but ideas about theirs were vague, ^^ So con- 
cerned was the Hindu author of the Ramayana 
and Mahabharata over the linguistic inability of 
women, — not understanding Sanskrit, how can 
they be saved, he queried, — that he wrote his 
great poems in the vernacular. ^^ 

In the Islands of Torres Straits, women had 
souls, but in the funeral ghost dances men always 
represented the female ghosts.^'' The Egyptians 
also seemed to think of women in the next 
world as males, for they called them, as they did 
dead men, "Osiris," and attributed to them 
male soul-birds.'^ Christians also refer to their 
winged souls or angels as males. Not long ago 
the sculptured angels of a New York cathedral 

* One is reminded of persons who believing in " the educational 
influence of the ballot" are against woman suffrage. 

Sex After DeatK 319 

had to come down from their niches to have their 
sex changed: the ecclesiastical committee evi- 
dently disagreeing with the poet who wrote: 

"O woman! lovely woman! 
Angels are painted fair, to look like you.^^" 

Although usually very insistent upon sex dis- 
tinctions, the Fathers too were quite positive 
that on the Day of Resurrection there would be 
none. "For you too (women as you are)," 
writes Tertullian, "have the selfsame angelic 
nature promised as your reward, the selfsame 
sex as men."^^ 

One wonders about the point of view of these 
churchmen, ancient and modem. Knowing that 
heaven is not dependent on women for its popula- 
tion, are they merely of the same mind as Euripides 
and Sir Thomas Browne who both longed for a 
world independent of women? Do they think that 
heaven cannot be heaven with women in it? 
Or, firm believers in the reward and punishment 
theory of a future life, do they think, perhaps, that 
heaven cannot be heaven to women as women? 

Once the reward and punishment theory has 
begim to encroach upon the continuance theory 
of life after death, reincarnation theories become 
prominent. In them a change of sex is quite a 

320 XHe Old-FasKioned W^oman 

common form of reward or punishment. Accord- 
ing to the Ansairey Arabs a bad man dying 
becomes a woman, a good woman, a man. '^ In 
a "fervent moment" an admirer once said to 
Margaret Fuller, "You deserve in some star to 
be a man. "^^ When they are "free from birth" 
Buddhist devotees are expected to despise their 
female nature so that if they are bom again they 
will be born male.^" A deceased Brahmanic per- 
jurer was loaded down with chains for a hundred 
years, then he was reborn a woman. ^^ Plato too 
suggests" that the man who misuses his oppor- 
tunities becomes a woman, and, failing even in 
this character, a bird. 

In order to avoid a double penalty Manu care- 
fully provides in some cases against a change of 
sex. Stealing grain, a man becomes a rat; honey, 
a stinging insect; milk, a crow; meat, a vulture; 
fat, a cormorant; salt, a cricket; silk, a partridge; 
linen, a frog; molasses, a flying-fox; perfume, a 
muskrat; fire, a heron; fruit or roots, a monkey; 
cooked food, a porcupine; raw food, a hedgehog, 
etc. Thieving women are to become "the females 
of those same creatures. "^^ 

In China it is not the desert of the dead, but 
funeral ritual which may cause a change of sex 
in reincarnation. The Hakka, a Mongolian tribe, 

Sex After DeatK 321 

will often put a girl to a cruel death to bully her 
soul into reappearing in the shape of a boy.^^ If 
a dead man is wrapped up in Yin ciphers, even 
numbers identified with the cold, dark, and evil 
part of nature, the female part, he loses all his 
luck in the grave. He is reborn a woman and 
a woman, too, apt to give birth to girls. ^^ 


Abipones: Paraguay 

Acax^e: Durango, Mexico 

Admiralty Islanders: North-western Melanesia 

Ainu: Northern Japan 

Akikuyus: British East Africa 

Amboina Islanders: Moluccas, Malay Archipelago 

Andamanese: Bay of Bengal 

Angoy, Natives of: West Coast of Africa 

Apache: New Mexico and Arizona 

Arapaho: Plains, North America 

Am Islanders: South of New Guinea 

Arunta: Central Australia 

Ashanti: Gold Coast, West Africa 

Atjehs: Northern Sumatra 

Awemba: Rhodesia, East Africa 

Babar Islanders: Moluccas, Malay Archipelago 
Baganda: Uganda, East Africa 
Bageshu : East Africa 
Bagobos: Mindanao, Philippine Islands 
Bahima: Ankole, East Africa 
Bakele: West Central Africa 
Bakongo: Central Africa, Congo 
Bali Islanders: Indian Archipelago 
Bangala: Upper Congo 
Banks' Islanders: Melanesia 

324 TKe Old-FasHionecl Woman 

Barea: East Africa 

Bari: Soudan 

Bashkirs: Slopes of Ural Mts. 

Basuto : South Africa 

Batta: Interior of Sumatra 

Bayaka: French Congo 

Bechuana: South Africa 

Bedui: North-east Africa 

Beni-Harith: Arabia 

Beni-Mzab: Algerian Sahara 

Bhuiyar: India 

Bini : Benim, Gulf of Guinea 

Bogos: East Africa 

Bondo, Negroes of: Soudan 

Bongos: East Africa 

Bornu: Soudan 

Buru Islanders: Moluccas 

Bushmen: South Africa 

Caflres: South Africa 

Ceram Islanders: Moluccas 

Cherokees: Southern Alleghanies 

Chepara: South-east Australia 

Cheyennes: Plains, North America 

Chippeway : Lakes Huron and Superior 

Chiquito: Brazil 

Chiriguana: Brazil 

Chulims: Russia 

Creeks: Alabama and Georgia 

Crows: Rocky Mts. 

Dahomi: Hinterland, Slave Coast, West Africa 
Damaras: South-western Africa 
Dinkas: Soudan 

Locations of Peoples 325 

Dorah, Papuans of: New Guinea 

Druses: Syria 

Duke of York Island: North-east of New Britain, 

Dyaks: Sarawak, Borneo 

Euahlayi : New South Wales 
Ewes: Slave Coast, West Africa 

Fjorts: West Coast of Africa, Congo 
Florida Islanders: Banks' Islands 

Galela Islanders : Indian Archipelago 

Galla: East Africa 

Gilbert Islanders: South-east Micronesia 

Hopi: Pueblo Indians, Arizona 
Hottentots: South Africa 

Ibibio: West Coast of Africa, Nigeria 
Isleta, Pueblo Indians of: New Mexico 

Jabim: New Guinea, Kaiser Wilhelm's Land 
Jekri: Nigeria 

Kabuis: Manipur, India 
Kabyles: Algeria 
Kaffa, Natives of: East Africa 
Kaitish: Central Australia 
Kamchadales : Siberia 
Karoks: California 
Kayans: Sarawak, Borneo 
Kaya-Kaya: Dutch New Guinea 

326 XHe Old-KasHioned \S^oman 

Kei Islands: Malay Archipelago 

Kenyah: Sarawak, Borneo 

Kharwars: North-west India 

Kirghiz: Central Asia 

Kisans: Bengal 

Koloshes or Thlinkets: North-west Coast, North 

Kumaun: Northern India 
Kurnai: South-east Australia 

Lakor Islanders: Moluccas 

Lamotrek Islanders: Caroline Islands 

Laos: Indo-China 

Leper's Islanders: New Hebrides, Melanesia 

Leti Islanders: Moluccas 

Lillooets: British Columbia 

Luang Sermata: Malay Archipelago 

Mabuiag Islanders: Torres Straits 

Maidu: California 

Makalolo: Branch of the Basutos 

Malekula Islanders: New Hebrides 

Malers: Rajmahal, India 

Mandingo: Senegambia, West Africa 

Mangoni, Natives of: East Africa 

Maoris: New Zealand 

Marquesas Islanders: Eastern Polynesia 

Masai: East Africa 

Matabele: South Africa 

Menang-Kabaws: Interior of Sumatra 

Mendi: West Coast of Africa, Sierra Leone 

Menomini: Wisconsin 

Minahassers: Celebes 

Miris: Bengal 

Locations of Peoples 327 

Mishmis: Assam, North-east India 
Mosquito Indians: Central America 
Musquakie: Kansas 

Nagas: Manipur, Assam 

Nandi : British East Africa 

Narrinyeri : South-east Australia 

Navaho: Arizona 

New Britain Islanders: Melanesia 

New Caledonia Islanders: Melanesia 

New Hebrides Islanders : Melanesia 

New Ireland Islanders: Melanesia 

Nias Islanders: West of Sumatra, Malay Archipelago 

Nishinam: California 

Nootkas: Vancouver Island 

Nusairiyeh: Syria 

Nyasaland, Natives of: East Africa 

Omaha: Nebraska 
Ona: Tierra del Fuego 
Ostyaks: Siberia 

Pelew Islanders: Caroline Islands 
Pentecost Islanders: New Hebrides 
Pima: Arizona 

Prince of Wales Islanders: Torres Straits 
Pshaves: Caucasus 

Quakeolth: Oregon 
Quayquirie Indians: Orinoco 

Samoyedes: Siberia 

Santa Cruz Islanders: Melanesia 

Santals: Bengal 

Sarae, Natives of: East Africa 

328 XKe Old-FasHioned W^oman 

Sarts: Turkestan 

Sennar, Negroes of: Soudan 

Serua Islanders: Malay Archipelago 

Shastika: California 

Sioux: Plains, North America 

Sissetou; Sioux: Plains 

Solomon Islanders: Melanesia 

Somali: East Africa 

Surinam, Aborigines of: Dutch Guiana 

Swahili : British East Africa 

Taculli: North-west Coast, America 

Tatus: California 

Tcham: Cambodia 

Thlinkets: Coast of British Columbia 

Thompson River Indians: Interior British Columbia 

Tjingilli: Central Australia 

Timor-Laut: Malay Archipelago 

Todas: Nilgiri Mountains, Central India 

Tolkotins: North-west Coast, America 

Tonga Islanders: Polynesia 

Torres Straits Islanders: Between Australia and 

New Guinea 
Tshi : Gold Coast, Gulf of Guinea 
Tsimshian: British Columbia 
Tuluvas: Southern India 
Tuyang: China 

Uliase Islanders: Malay Archipelago 

Unmatjera: Central Australia 

Unyamwezi: South of Victoria Nyanza, East Africa 

Upsala, People of: Sweden 

Uripiv Islanders: New Hebrides 

Locations of Peoples 329 

Veddah: Travancore, Madras Presidency 

Wabemba: East Africa 

Wagogo: East Africa 

Wahpetou; Sioux: Plains 

Wanderobbo: British East Africa 

Wanika: East Africa 

Warramunga : Central Australia 

Warrau: British Guiana 

Warua: Congo Free State 

Wataveta: East Africa 

Watubella Islanders: Malay Archipelago 

Wetar Islanders : Moluccas 

Wichita: Kansas to Texas 

Yahgan: Tierra del Fuego 

Yakuts: Siberia 

Yao : North of the Zambesi River, East Africa 

Yaraikanna: North-east Australia 

Yaunde: Cameroon, West Africa 

Yezedee: Kurdistan 

Yokaia: California 

Yoruba: Slave Coast, West Africa 

Yuki: California 

Zulus: South Africa 

Zuni: Pueblo Indians, Arizona 


1 Brihaddranyaka-Upanishad. Sacred Books of the East, xv 

2 DoRSEY, George A. The Mythology of the Wichita, p. 

I. Washington, 1904 

3 Bain, F. W. A Digit of the Moon, pp. 32-3. New York 

and London, 1906 

4 CuRTiss, S. I. Primitive Semitic Religion To-day, p. 74 

n. 3. Chicago, New York, Toronto, 1902 

5 Anthropophyteia, i (1904), 10- 11 


1 Reports of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to 

Torres Straits, vi, 109. Cambridge, 1908 

2 Sabred Books of the East, v, 344 

3 KiDD, Dudley. Savage Childhood, p. 26. London, 1906 

4 Ploss, H. Das Kind, 1, 70. Leipzig, 1884 

5 Ih., i, 68, 70 

6 lb., i, 70 

7 lb. 

8 Qur'An, xvi, 60-1. Sacred Books of the East, vi 

9 Ploss, H. H., and Bartels, M. Das Weib, i, 390. Stutt- 

gart, 1876 

10 Letter cvii, 3. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vi (Sec. 


11 Ploss and Bartels, i, 391 

12 Jessup, Henry Harris. The Women of the Arabs, p. 2. 

New York 

13 Reports of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to 

Torres Straits, v, 196 

14 Ploss and Bartels, i, 809 

15 Garnett, Lucy M. A. The Women of Turkey, The 

Christian Woman, p. 239. London, 1890 

332 XHe Old-FasKioned W^oman 

1 6 Ploss and Bartels, i, 809 

17 Pliny, Natural History, Bk. xxx, ch. xiv 

18 Reports of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to 

Torres Straits, vi, 105 

19 Ploss and Bartels, i, 396 

20 Chamberlain, Basil H. Things Japanese, p. 375. London, 

Tokyo, 1890 

21 Vishnu, The Institutes of, xxvii, 4-13. Sacred Books of 

the East, vii 

22 Crawley, Ernest. The Mystic Rose, pp. 208-9. London 

and New York, 1902 

23 /&.,p. 210 


1 Barnes-Grundy, Mabel. Hilary on Her Own, p. 10. 

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2 De I'Education des Filles, ch. v 

3 Ploss, ii, 437 

4 Chamberlain, p. 368 

5 Hall, G. Stanley. Adolescence, ii, 233. New York, 


6 Li Kt, Bk. X, Sect, ii, 36. Sacred Books of the East, xxvii, 


7 Hall, ii, 233 

8 Crawley, p. 220 

9 Frazer, James G. Golden Bough, i, 208, London, 1900 

10 lb. 

11 Brown, George. Melanesians and Polynesians, pp. 

105-7. London, 1910 

12 Frazer, Golden Bough, i, 210 

13 Putnam, Emily James. The Lady, p. 5. New York, 


14 Why the Oracles Cease to Give Answers, 46 

15 Decency in Conversation amongst Women, p. 2. London, 


16 Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, Common Sense about 

Women, p. 106. Boston and New York, 1881 

17 Letter cvii, 13. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vi( Sec. 


18 Marchais, R. Voyage en Guince, ii, 144-5. Amsterdam, 

1 731; Ellis, A. B. The Ewe-Speaking Peoples of the 

References 333 

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20 Clavigero, D. F. S. The History of Mexico, n, 48. Phila- 

delphia, 1817 

21 Acosta, Joseph de. The Natural and Moral History of 

the Indies, Bk. v, ch. xv 

22 Jerome, Letter cvii, 5; Letter cxxvii, 5, 8 

23 Didaskalia, ch. xiv. Texte und Untersuchungen zur 

Geschtchte der alt-christlichen Literatur. N. S. x, 1904 

24 Hefele, C. J. von. A History of the Christian Councils, 

V, 213. Edinburgh, 1871-96 
; 25 De Groot. J. J. M. The Religious System of China, ii, 
756. Leyden, 1892-1910 

26 lb., ii, 406, 409 

27 Cunningham, J. F. Uganda and its Peoples, pp. 230-2. 

London, 1905 

28 Qur'An, xxxiii, 54 

29 Garnett, Lucy M. J. The Women of Turkey and their 

Folk-Lore, pp. 591, 593. London, 1893 

30 Frazer, J. G. Totemism and Exogamy, ii, 284. London 


31 Crawley, p. 37 


1 LtKt, Bk. X, Sect, ii, 37 

2 Vanity Fair, ch. iii. 

3 Ploss, ii, 437 

4 lb., ii, 425 / 

5 Ib.,n, 437; Ellis, The Tshi-Speaking Peoples of the Gold 

Coast of West Africa, pp. 235-6. London, 1887 

6 Hall, ii, 234 

7 lb., ii, 235 

8 Owen Mary Alicia. Folk-Lore of the Musquakie Indians 

of North America, p. 70. London, 1904 

334 TKe Old-FasKionedl W^oman 

9 Ellis, The Tshi-Speaking Peoples, pp. 234-5. 

10 Ploss, ii, 429, 443 

11 lb., ii, 425, 437 

12 lb., ii, 439; Crawley, p. 272 

13 lb., p. 270; Ploss, ii, 439 

14 Ellis, The Ewe-Speaking Peoples, p. 155 

15 Ploss, ii, 438, 440, 441 

1 Westermarck, Edward. The History of Human Marriage, 

p. 213. London and New York, 1901 

2 CODRINGTON, R. H. The Melanesians, p. 237. Oxford, 


3 Spencer, B., and Gillen, F. J. The Native Tribes of 

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4 Frazer, Totemism and Exogamy, iv, 235-6 

5 Dawson, James. Australian Aborigines, pp. 30-1. Mel- 

bourne, Sydney, and Adelaide, 1881 

6 Crawley, p. 315 

7 Owen, pp. 74-5 

8 Li Ki, Bk. i, sect, i, pt. iii, 36 

9 Crawley, p. 316 

10 lb. 

11 Ih., pp. 328, 329 

12 CODRINGTON, p. 24O 

13 Teit, James. " The Thompson River Indians," Memoirs. 

American Museum of Natural History, vol. ii, p. 324 

14 Westermarck, Marriage, p. 71 

15 lb. 

16 Brown, p. 113; Zache, H. " Sitten und Gebrauche der 

Suaheli," Zt. f. Ethnologie, xxxi (1899), 79 

17 Crawley, pp. 3x5, 316 

18 Lt Ki, Bk. I, sect, i, pt. iii, 34 

19 P- 337 

20 Howard, George Elliott. A History of Matrimonial 

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21 KovALEVSKY, Maxime. Modem Customs and Ancient 

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23 Crawley, pp. 238-9 

24 Wood, Edward J. The Wedding Day in all Ages and 

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25 Westermarck, Marriage, p. 401 

26 Ellis, A. B. The Yoruba-Speaking Peoples of the Slave 

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27 Ndrada, xii, 38-44 

28 Westermarck, Marriage, p. 402 

29 Manu, V, 153. Sacred Books of the East, xxv 

30 Lt Ki, Bk. X, sect, ii, 2,7 

31 The Code of Hammurabi, § 128. Ed. Harper, R. F. 

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32 Westermarck, Marriage, p. 415 

33 lb., p. 444 

34 Crawley, p. 333 

35 Garnett, The Women of Turkey; The Christian Woman 


36 Crawley, p. 333 

37 Deuteronomy, xxiv, 5 

38 Frazer, Totemism and Exogamy, iv, 234; Garnett, The 

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39 Crawley, pp. 333-4 

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4 The Whole Duty of a Woman, p. 38. London, 1702 

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33^ THe Old-FasKioned Woman 


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6 Apastamba, i, 4, 14, 21. Sacred Books of the East, ii 

7 Chamberlain, pp. 370-2 

8 KOVALEVSKY, p. 45 

9 Frazer, Totemism and Exogamy, i, 72 

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1 1 ScHOULER, A Treatise on the Law of the Domestic Relations, 

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12 MooNEY, James. VII {1885-6) Annual Report American 

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14 Spencer, B., and Gillen, F. J. The Northern Tribes of 

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15 Pliny, Bk. xxviii, ch. vii 

16 DoBRiZHOFFER, M. An Account of the Abipones, ii, 264. 

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17 Ploss and Bartels, i, 929 

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20 Spencer and Gillen, Native Tribes, etc., p. 471 

21 Beardmore, Edward. Journal Anthropological Institute, 

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22 Callaway, The Religious System of the Amazulu, p. 

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23 De Groot, V, 538-9 

24 RoscOE, J. "Notes on the Bageshu," Journal Anthro- 

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26 BowRiNG, John. The Philippine I stands, -p. 120. London, 


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28 Reports Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres 

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32 Crawley, p. 426 

33 Anthropophyteia, iii (1906), 35 

34 Crawley, p. 424 

35 Ploss, i, 35-6 

36 Crawley, p. 392 

37 CoLQUHOUN, A. R. Across Chrysi, i, 335. London, 1883 

38 The Indian Antiquary, iii (1S74), 151; Crawley, p. 425 

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23 Ploss and Bartels, i, 389 


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15 Ploss and Bartels, i, 906 ** 

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19 Ploss and Bartels, i, 890, 893, 905, 906 


1 Hartland, i, 233-4 

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6 Frazer, The Golden Bough, iii, 223 

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14 Frazer, The Golden Bough, iii, 225 

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17 Crawley, p. 114 

18 Teit, p. 326 

19 Spencer and Gillen, Northern Tribes, etc., p. 615 

20 Crawley, pp. 165-6 

21 lb., pp. II, 166 

22 Spieth, p. 475 

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30 Judges, xiii, 2-14 

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32 Hammurabi, §110 

33 Pliny, Bk. xiv, ch. xiii 

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35 Ancient Laws and Institutes of England, p. 311. 1840 

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21 Codrington, pp. 98, 99 

22 Parkinson, J. "Notes on the Asaba People (Ibos) of 

35^ TKe Old-FasKioned Woman 

the Niger." Journal Anthropological Institule, xxxvi 
(1906), 313 

23 Ellis, The Yoruha-Speaking Peoples, p. 108 

24 KiNGSLEY, Travels in West Africa, pp. 377-80. Also 

West African Studies, p. 448. London and New York, 

25 Weeks, p. 118 

26 Crawley, p. 43 

27 Spencer and Gillen, Native Tribes, etc., pp. 540, 549-50; 

Northern Tribes, etc., p. 466 

28 Brown, pp. 356-7 

29 FuRNESs, W. H. The Home-Life of Borneo Head-Hunters, 

p. 169. Philadelphia, 1902 

30 Steinmetz, ii, 351 

31 Dennett, At the Back of the Black Man's Mind, p. 89 

32 American Anthropologist, ii (1900), New Ser., 195 

33 The Questions of King Milinda, iv, 4, 43 

34 A Father's Legacy to his Daughters, p. loi 

35 Spencer and Gillen, Northern Tribes, etc., p. 507 

36 Cavazzi, i, 404-8 

37 Chamberlain, p. 370 

38 Manu, V, 154-5, 160, 164; Wilkins, W. J. Modern 

Hinduism, p. 333. New York, 1887; Colebrooke, 
H. T. The Duties of a Faithful Hindu Widow. Mis- 
cellaneous Essays, i, 134. London, 1873 

39 Jessup, pp. 11-12 

40 The Dabistdn, p. 166 

41 Westermarck, Moral Ideas, i, 652 

42 Genesis, iii, 16 

43 I Corinthians, xi, 8-9 

44 The American Lady's Preceptor, Baltimore. 18 15 

45 SCHIRMACHER, p. 24 

46 The Ancren Riwle, p. 317. London, 1853 


1 Leonard, pp. 228-9; Roth, H. Ling, ii, cc 

2 Aymonier, E. Les Tchames et leurs Religions, pp. 44-5, 

109. Paris, 1 89 1 

3 Walpole, F. The Ansayrii, iii, 377. London, 1851 

IVeferences 359 

4 Leo Africanus. The History and Description of Africa, 

ii, 458-9. Pub. Hakluyt Society 

5 Spieth, p. 490 

6 Marchais, ii, 147-8; Bosman, pp. 375-6 

7 DiODORUS SicuLUS, i, ch. ii; Plutarch, Concerning 

Isis and Osiris, 2 

8 Bhattacharya, J. N. Hindu Castes and Sects, p. 537. 

Calcutta, 1896 

9 Vishnu, XXV, 15, 16 
lo Numbers, xxxi, 3-12 
n I Corinthians, xiv, 35 

12 HowELLS, A Modern Instance, ch. iv 

13 The Dabistdn, p. 166 

14 Westermarck, Moral Ideas, i, 667 n. i; Batchelor, 

PP- 550-1 

15 Dawson, J., p. 55 

16 Bhattacharya, pp. 485-6, 493 

17 RoscoE, Further Notes, etc., p. 46 

18 Brehm, R. B. Das Inka-Reich, p. 74. Jena, 1885; 

Buttles, J. R. The Queens of Egypt, pp. ig6-8. London, 

19 Cutts, E. L. Scenes and Characters of the Middle Ages, 

p. 130. London, 1872 

20 RoscoE, Further Notes, etc., p. 45 

21 Frazer, J. G. "The Pyrtaneum, The Temple of Vesta, 

The Vestals, Perpetual Fires," The Journal of Philology, 
xiv (1885), 159 n 

22 Luke, ii, 36-7 

23 De Groot, ii, 756 

24 Wilson, H. H. "A Sketch of the Religious Sects of the 

Hindus," Asiatic Researches, xvi (1828), 96 

25 Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, ix, 122, § 2 

26 Powers, p. 154 

27 Didaskalia, ch. xiv 

28 Spieth, pp. 445, 448, 450 

29 Hearn, Lafcadio. Japan, p. 158. New York and 

London, 1904 

30 Sahagun, pp. 14, 15, 459; AcosTA, Bk. v, ch. xv 

31 Protevangelium of James, ch. y'n, ch. xv; Pseudo- Matthew, 

ch. vii, ch. viii 

360 TKe Old-FasKioned 'Woman 

32 Cunningham, J. F. Uganda and its Peoples, p. 80. Lon- 

don, 1905 

33 Athenaeus, xiii, 33 

34 Kullavagga, x, i, 4; 3, i ; 6; 7 

35 Lanslots, D. I. Handbook of Canon Law, p. 277. Rat- 

isbon, Rome, New York, Cincinnati, 191 1 

36 76., pp. 131, 244, 245, 271 

37 Hehn, J. "Hymen und Gebete an Marduk," Beitrdge zur 

Assyriologie, v (1906), 286 

38 Gray, J. H. China, ii, 24. London, 1878 

39 SozoMEN, Ecclesiastical History, ii, 12. Nicene and Post- 

Nicene Fathers, ii 

40 Gr6goire de Tours, Histoire Ecclesiastique des Francs, 


41 Ancient Laws and Institutes of England, pp. 292, 355 

42 Relation Historique de VEthiopie Occidentale, i, 270 

43 KiDD, The Essential Kafir, p. 190 

44 The Indian Antiquary, xxiii (1894), 1 1 

45 Plutarch, Pythian Responses, 22 

46 Theatre of the Hindus, n, iio-ii. Ed. Wilson. London, 


47 Lowell, Percival. Occult Japan, pp. 157, 162, 188. 

Boston and New York, 1895 

48 Tertullian, Against Heretics, ch. xxx; iRENiEus, Agadnst 

Heresies, 1, xxv, 3, 6 

49 SuLPETius Severus, ch. xlvi 

50 Eckenstein, Lina. Woman under Monasticism, p. 272. 

Cambridge, 1896 

51 Gasquet, F. a. Henry VIII and the English Monasteries, 

i, 1 1 0-2 1. London, 1895 

52 The Letters of Saint Teresa, p. 271. Ed. Dalton 

53 Kullavagga, Tenth Khandhaka 

54 Strabo, vii, iii, 4 

55 Sesame and Lilies: Of Queens' Gardens, pp. 107, 108. 

New York, 1886 


I Yudelson, S. " The Education and Professional Activities 
of Women," Annals of the American Academy of 
Political and Social Science, xxv (1905), 121 

References 361 

2 Frazer, Totemism and Exogamy, iv, 330 

3 Crawley, pp. 93, 207 

4 lb., p. 208; HowiTT, Native Tribes, etc., p. 402 

5 Brown, p. 409 

6 Crawley, p. 208 

7 Manu, ii, 213; Apastamba, i, 5, 14 

8 The Fo-Sho-Hing-Tsan-King, iv, 22. Sacred Books oj the 

East, xix 

9 The Book of the Great Decease, ch. v, 23. Sacred Books 0} 

the East, xi 

10 Clement of Rome. Two Epistles Concerning Virginity; 

Second Epistle, ch. iii. Ante-Nicene Christian Library, 

11 Bain, pp. 33-4 

12 AuLus Gellius, Attic Nights, i, 6; Donaldson, p. 9 

13 The Anatomy of Melancholy, Pt. iii, sec. 2, mem. 6, subs. 5 

14 Crawley, pp. 325-6 

15 lb., pp. 329-31; Garnett, The Women of Turkey: The 

Christian Women, p. 235 

16 Dawson, J., p. 32 

17 Garnett, The Women of Turkey: The Christian Women, 

pp. 203, 235 

18 Crawley, pp. 338-9 

19 Reports Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres 

Straits, vi, 117 

20 Chamberlain, p. 371 

21 Sheane, J. H. West. "Some Aspects of the Awemba 

Religion and Superstitious Observances," Journal Aiithro- 
pological Institute, xxxvi (1907), 156 

22 Lt Ki, Bk. IX, sect, iii, 10 

23 Kovalevsky, p. 45 

24 Ephesians, v, 23; i Corinthians, vii, 4 

25 Saint Teresa, The Way of Perfection, p. 54. London, 


26 Manu, v, 154 

27 Westermarck, Marriage, p. 175 n. 6 

28 lb. 

29 Erasmus, Colloquies: The Uneasy Wife 

30 Tertullian, On the Apparel of Women, ch. xiii 

31 lb., ch. iv 

362 XKe Old-FasHioned W^oman 

32 Frazer, Totemism and Exogamy, iv, 234, 235 

33 Pliny, Letters 

34 Jessup, p. 15 

35 Ploss and Bartels, i, 904 

36 Ih., i, 924 

37 Brihaspati, xxiv, 8, 9 

38 Crawley, p. 395 

39 Paulitschke, ii, 67 

40 Frazer, The Golden Bough, i, 28 

41 Decency in Conversation amongst Women, p. 75 

42 Chamberlain, p, 372 

43 I Timothy, ii, 9 

44 On the Apparel of Women, ch. i 

45 On the Veiling of Virgins, ch. xii 

46 Donaldson, pp. 184-5 

47 On the Apparel of Women, chs. ii, iii; Ow the Veiling of 

Virgins, ch. xv 

48 Letters to Young People, pp. 90-1 

49 Jessup, p. 3 

50 Tertullian, On the Apparel of Women, ch. i 

51 ilfawM, ii, 213-14 

52 Uttarddhyayana, viii, 18; Akdrdiiga Siltra. Fourth Lesson 

in Caina SUtras. Sacred Books of the East, xxii 


1 HowiTT, A. W. "On Some Australian Ceremonies of 

Initiation," Journal Anthropological Institute, xiii (1883- 
4). 452 n. 

2 Wallace, A. R. Travels on the Amazon and Rio Negro, p. 

348. London, 1889 

3 Reports Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres 

Straits, vi, 140, 145, 146 

4 Cp. Satapatha-Brdhmana, xiv Kdnda, i Adhydya, I 

Brdhmana, ji 

5 KiNGSLEY, Travels in West Africa, p. 377 

6 Dennett, At the Back of the Black Man's Mind, p. 229 

7 Westermarck, Moral Ideas, i, 665 

8 Garnett, The Women of Turkey: The Christian Women ,p.io6 

9 Russell, Frank. "The Pima Indians," XXVI (1908) 

Annual Report American Bureau of Ethnology, p. 206 

R.eferences 363 

10 HODSON, p. 117 

11 Macdonald, D., i, 152 

12 Sumner, Helen L. Equal Suffrage, p. 131. New York 

and London, 1909 

13 History of Woman Suffrage, i, 81 

14 /&Mi,53 

15 lb., i, 144 

16 /&., 1,515 

17 lb., i, 555 

18 Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, ii, 205. Boston, 1852 

19 Meyer, p. 10 

20 lb., p. 9 

21 /&.,p. 26 

22 SCHIRMACHER, p. 1 84 

23 HiGGiNSON, Common, Sense About Women, p. 200 

24 Davies, p. 159 

25 de Maulde, p. 98 

26 Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, i, 321-2 

27 Powers, p. 150 

28 DE Maulde, p. 93 n. i 

29 Ch. VII 

30 DE Maulde, p. 93 

31 lb., p. 134 

32 Putnam, p. 186 

33 Meyer, p. 27 

34 Earle, p. 269 

35 Donaldson, pp. 125-6 

36 Meyer, pp. 222 jf. 

37 lb., p. 227 

38 Schirmacher, p. 185 

39 Bartels, Max. Die Medicin der Naturvolker, p. 53. 

Leipzig, 1893 

40 Garnett, The Women of Turkey: The Christian Women, 


41 Cavazzi, ii, 267 

42 A cts of Paul and Thecla 

43 Ecclesiastical History, viii, 2$ 

44 Pearson, ii, 38 

45 Eckenstein, p. 221 

46 Ellis, Studies, etc.; Modesty, etc., p. 242 

364 XHe Old-rasKioned AAT^oiiian 

47 Earle, p. 357 

48 FmAmm, XXV, 7; Peterson, P. " On the Duties of a Hindu 

Wife," Journal Anthropological Society of Bombay, ii 
(1890-2), 461 

49 Life, Pt. iii, ch. v. New York, 1820 

50 Dlackwell, p. 80 

51 Nearing, Scott, and Nellie, M. S. Woman and Social 

Progress, p. 115. New York, 1912 

52 Meyer, p. 148 n., 160, 171 

53 Blackwell, pp. 70, 190, 208-9 

54 Dennett, At the Back of the Black Man's Mind, p. 130 

55 Rivers, pp. 420-1 

56 Frazer, The Golden Bough, i, 223 

57 Earle, p. 81 

58 Woman in the Nineteenth Century, pp. 150-1 


1 HowiTT, The Jeraeil, p. 315; lb., Native Tribes, etc., 

P- 354 

2 Reports Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres 

Straits, v, 256 

3 CODRINGTON, p. 83 

4 Powers, p. 194 

5 Untrodden Fields of Anthropology, i, 69 

6 The Exemplary Life of the Pious Lady Guion, pt. 11, chs. 

xii, xiii. Philadelphia, 1804 

7 Life of Saint Teresa, p. 252. Ed. Archbishop of West- 

minster. London, 1865 

8 Sumner, ch. iv 

9 Schirmacher, pp. 164, 185, 224 

10 Blackwell, p. 52 

1 1 Chesterton, G. K. What 's Wrong with the World, p. 

134. London, New York, Toronto, and Melbourne, 

12 Dunne, F. P. Mr. Dooley in Peace and in War: On the 

New Woman 

13 Blackwell, pp. 1 17-18 

14 Meyer, p. 165 

15 76., p. 223 

16 History of Woman Suffrage, i, 629 

References 365 


1 CODRINGTON, p. 262 

2 Reports Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres 

Straits, vi, 159 

3 HowiTT, Native Tribes, etc., pp. 456, 459 

4 Cox, pp. 329-30 

5 Eddas, p. 202. London, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, 

New York, 1906; GRficoiRE de Tours, i, 273 

6 Crawfurd, John. History of the Indian Archipelago, 

ii, 244-9. Edinburgh, 1820 

7 Earle, p. 373 

8 Wood, Survivals in Christianity, p. 263. New York and 

London, 1893. His authority is a newspaper 

9 Shakespear, p. 379 

10 Felkin, R. W. "Notes on the For Tribes of Central 

Africa," Proc. Roy. Soc. Edinburgh, xiii (1884-6), 218-19 

11 CuRTiss, p. 74 n. 3 

12 Westermarck, Moral Ideas, ii, 673 

13 Jour. Anthropological Soc. Bombay, ii (1890-2), 512 

14 Reports Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres 

Straits, vi, 140 

15 Wiedemann, A. The Realms of the Egyptian Dead, p. 30. 

London, 1902 

16 Otway, Thomas. Venice Preserved, Act i, sc. i 

17 On the Apparel of Women, ch. ii 

18 Hartland, i, 173 

19 Woman in the Nineteenth Century, p. 41 

20 Description of Sukhdvati, The Land of Bliss, § 8, 34. Sacred 

Books of the East, xlix 

21 iV^rada, i, 204-5 

22 TimcBus 

23 Manu, xii, 62-9 

24 Ploss, ii, 263 

25 DE GrOOT, i, 65 


Abyssinians, 34, 41, 133, 136, 

Acting, 64, 124, 141 

Addams, Jane, 147 n., 197, 
199 n. 

Africa, West Coast of, 13, 18, 
22, 26, 28, 29, 38, 45, 60, 62, 
63, 71, 82, 86, 93,94, 96, loi, 
102, 104, 106, III, 117, 121, 
123, 125, 131, 173, 190, 193, 
195, 197, 220, 226, 228, 230- 
I, 233, 234, 240, 241, 242, 
246, 247, 253, 274, 288, 292, 

Agnodice, 173, 289, 291 n. 

Ainu, 177, 178, 179, 181, 243 

Akikuyus, 29 n., 60, 142, 193 

Amazons, 23, 131, 312 

Andaman Islanders, 181 

Arabs, 2, 8, 22, 34, 104, 135, 
179, 204, 241, 272, 318, 320 

Armenians, 9, 41, 264 

Aru Islands, 94 

Assam, 207-8, 317 

Australians, 9, 11, 13-14, 31, 
32, 42, 55. 56, 57. 60, 70-1, 
73, 76, 86, 91-2, 93-4, 95, 98, 
99, 102, 103, 104, 105, 107, 
109, III, 114, 116, 124, 128, 
129, 137, 149-50, 172-3. 188, 
189, 190, 192, 205, 206, 207, 
215, 220, 226, 227, 228, 232, 
234, 243, 260, 264, 274, 
296-7, 314. 318 

Awemba, 265 

Babylonians, 39, 44, 72, 87, 

189, 2X2, 220, 252 
Baganda, 21, 45, 60, 88, 193, 

243, 244, 248 

Bageshu, 56 

Bahima, 60 

Bakongo, 133 

Bali, 38 

Bangala, 60, 104, 132, 190, 

Barea, 260 
Bari, 142, 168 
Barrenness, 75, 85flf., 123, 177, 

246, 304 
Bashkirs, 193 
Basques, 58 
Basuto, 71, 80, 88, 91 
Bedui, 41 
Beni-Mzab, 121 
Biography of women, vi, 135, 

Blackwell, Elizabeth, 126, 173, 

290-1, 291-2, 302, 305-6 
Blue-Stocking, 47, 128, 214 ff., 


BogOS, 2X2 

Bondo, 193 

Bongos, X37, 168 

Borneo, 14, 33, 61-2, xo6, 115, 

128, 150, X78, 190, 197, 233, 

Bornu, 267 
Bororo, 1x7 
Brahmans, 6x, 73, 74, 87, 96-7, 

99, 124, 204, 207, 208, 248, 

272 n., 290, 320 
Bride, qualifications of, 14-17, 

Bride-pnce, 6, 34, 37, 38, 43. 

X92 flf., 247. See Marriage 

by Purchase 
Buddhists, 20, 60, 73,204, 205, 

244, 245, 249-50, 253-4, 

256-7, 261, 262, 275, 320 




Burma, 12-13, 242 
Bushmen, 92 
Byron, 128, 207, 221 

Caflfres, 7, 28, 29 n., 56, 60, 77, 
95, 102-3, 104, 123-4, 131, 
132, 134, 137, 151, 177, 178, 
179, 181, 193, 212, 229, 253, 
260, 263, 293 

Caroline Islands, 60, 63, 80, 
170, 179, 189, 191, 209-10, 
253. 298 

Celibacy, 43-9, 242, 262-3, 284 

Chaperonage, 6, 13-14, 25, 120, 

Child-bearing, 7, 55 fF., 70 flf., 
76 ff., 99, 127, 201-2, 225, 

233. 304 

Chinese, 8, 9, 20, 22, 24, 32, 34, 
39. 56, 58-9. 60, 72, 73, 80-1, 
86, 88, 102, 108, 124, 127, 
168, 178, 180, 181, 184, 185, 
206, 210, 214, 215, 220, 
244-5, 252, 265, 298, 320-1 

Chivalry, 224, 305-9 

Chulims, 193 

Classifications of women, 206, 
208-9, 274 

Clubs, 12, 22, 23, 116 flf., 130, 

Co-education, 1 16, 157,277, 280 

College, going for girls, 206,237, 
281-2; women, 46-7, 153, 
208, 2i8n. ; women excluded 
from, 258-9, 278-9, 285 n., 

Coming-out, 6, 13, 14, 24-30 

Commensality taboos, 23, 51- 
2, 53, 80, 91, 92, 94, 116, 122, 
123, 261 

Compensation, 36, 201 

Conception, 70-5, 86 ff. 

Conjugal separation, 3 n., 51-2, 
59-62, 80-1, 91, 122 ff., 268 

Continence, 55, 62, 80, 13 1-2, 
202, 240, 242, 268 

Convent, 17 ff., 44, 162-3, 224, 
246, 247-51, 255-6, 289 

Coreans, 13, 126, 264 

Costa Ricans, 67, 91 

Courtship, 5-6, 32 flf., 120-1,214 
Couvade, 58-9 
Czechs, 9 

Damaras, 192 

Dancing, 18, 25-6, 29, 30, 62, 
82, 114, 120, 123, 142-3, 183, 
185, 197, 240, 246, 247, 262, 
269, 284, 285, 297, 298, 318 

Danger from woman, 81-2, 
91 flf., 116, 131-2,259 flf. 

Death, life after, 21, 39, 89, 
loi flf., 234-5, 242, 273, 
313 flf. ; separation of sexes at, 

Diet, 9, 25, 56, 58, 62, 67, 76-7, 
81. 85, 95, 106, 189-91, 206, 
222, 269, 308, 314, 317-18 

Dinka, 168 

Divorce, 35, 64, 75, 88, loi, 

135. 170, 177. 196, 206, 238, 
241, 242, 287, 293, 304 

Dress, 24 flf., 42, 45, 46, 58, 59, 
80, 83, 93, 103, 104, 106, 124, 

133, 167 flf., 182-3, 267, 270- 
I, 308, 316 

Drinking, 25-6, 85, 94, 187-9, 

Druses, 264 
Dutch, 170, 276 

Education of women, 14 flf., 
125, 161 flf., 202, 206, 215 flf., 
278 flf., 283 

Egyptians, 60, 61, 63, 65, 72, 

136, 220-1, 237, 242, 243-4, 
264, 299, 318 

Elopement, 37-8 

Engagement, 31-37, 40, 121, 
179, 192; of Duke of Brit- 
tany, 16 

English, II, 12, 22, 25, 30, 38, 
43. 46-7. 53. 54. 65, 66, 79 
n., 83 n., 97-8, 102 n., 117, 
119, 124, 128-9, 131. 133. 

134. 135. 141. 144. 152, 158. 
161, 170-1, 177, 196, 199 n., 
200, 201, 202, 207, 211, 212, 
213, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 
221-2, 223-4, 227, 244, 252, 



English — Continued 

255, 263, 265, 267, 269, 272, 

276, 277, 279, 280, 281, 283, 

285 n., 310, 311 
Erasmus, 15, 43, 205, 283 
Eskimo, 13, 31, 60, 87, 91, loi, 

132, 133. 137. 150, 196, 227, 

Essenes, 204 
Eve, I, 3, 100, 170, 205, 228, 

236, 270 
Exercise for women, 143, 183-4 

Female infanticide, 4-8 
Fenelon, 12, 49 n., 276 n., 283 
Fez, 241 

Fiji, 80, no, 115, 117, 119, 158 
n., 160 n., 181, 190, 193, 227, 


For, 317 

French, 12, 16, 47 n., 53, 74, 
97, 108 n., 124, 131, 169, 173, 
204, 205, 215-6, 252, 272, 
278-9, 280-1, 287, 301, 305, 

Fuller, Margaret, 4, 217, 218 
n., 278-9, 293, 320 

Gainas, 61, 73, 204, 272 

Galela, 95 

Galla, 10, 62, 201, 269 

Galli, 173 

Games, 23, 124, 129, 1385. 

Germans, 10, 15-16, 58, 66, 78, 
80, 81-2, 137, 153, 174, 179, 
203, 205, 216, 255, 267, 289, 
293, 316 

Ghosts, 85, 101-3, 139, 146, 
176, 207, 229, 274, 313-15 

Gilbert Islanders, 121, 267 

Gipsies, 82 

Girls only, 5, 71, 75, 88, 321 

Greeks, 14-15, 22, 39, 61, 63, 
64, 7/1, 72, 80, 105, J41,, 147, 
162, 173, 174, 203, 205, 2&^, 
2?3. 235, 244, 248, 25^ 261, 
ip2» 567, 268, 288, 289, ^320 

Gregory, Dr., 141, 216, 233 

Guyon, Madame, 290, 299 

Hayti, 169 

Hebrews, 3, 19, 41, 43, 53, 61, 
64,73,82,86,87,92,97, 151, 
170, 181, 188, 207, 235-6, 
242, 244, 247, 251-2, 267 

Hindus, i, 9, 10, 36, 38-9, 43, 
53,60,67,88,92,94,97, 103, 
105, 106, 107, 121, 123, 151, 
178, 180, 189, 203, 205-6, 
212, 214, 221, 223-4, 234-5, 
242, 245, 261, 262-3, 266, 
269, 272, 274, 315, 318 

Hondurans, 60 

Hottentots, 29, 61 

Hutchinson, Ann, 290 

Iceland, 170 

Ignorance of women, 14-15, 17, 

206, 211 
Incarnation, 70-1, 189, 234, 

272, 319-21 
India, 2, 54, 58, 59, 60, 61, 77, 

86, 93, 96, 106, 132, 137, 

138, 172, 174, 177, 179, 184, 
19O1 193. 194-51 202, 214, 
233, 243, 253, 275, 282, 293, 

Indians, American, 60, 71, 138, 

139, 140, 204; Abipone, 264; 
Alaskan, 132; Amazon, 81; 
Apache, 139, 142; Arapaho, 
140; Brazilian, 274; British 
Guiana, 133; Californian, 26, 
39, 67, 103, 104, 106, 121, 
^22>, 137, 139, I93> 283, 297: 
Caribs, 133; Cherokees, 54- 
5; Cheyennes, 97; Chippe- 
way, 92, 94, 95-6; Chiquito, 
55; Chiriguana, 99; Creeks, 
117-8, 121; Crows, 140; 
Guiana, 81; Iroquois, 131-2; 
Koniag, 269; Lillooet, loi; 
Menomini, 99; Mosquito, 
81, 109; Musquakie, 27, 32; 
Navaho, 115, 194; Nishi- 
nam, 107, 177; Nootka, 268; 
Omaha, 92, 95; Oregon, 192, 
194; Orinoco, 92, 132; Pima, 
106; Prairie, 27, 232; Pueblo, 
60, 72, 92, 133-4, 186, 222; 



Indians — Continued 

Quakeolths, io6, 109; Shas- 
tika, 194; Sioux, 92, 93, 106; 
Sissetou, 139; Tacullis, 109; 
Thlinkit, 13, 27, 93; Thomp- 
son River, 33, 38, 58, 77, 86, 
92, 93. 95. 120, 137, 139, 
186, 207; Tolkotin, 108, 
315; Topinagugine , 1 40 ; 
Tsimshian, 60, 62; Vancou- 
ver, 140, 268; Wahpetou, 
139; Warrau, 25; Wichita, i ; 
Yuki, 62 

Industry, women in, 135, 302 

Ireland, ancient, 192 

Italians, 31, 32, 37, 141, 193-4, 
204, 212, 221 

Japanese, 9-10, 13, 18, 53, 60, 
97, 125, 147, 161, 183, 188, 
203, 206, 207, 220, 224, 234, 
265, 270, 279 

Kabyles, 194, 196 

KaflFa, 123 

Kamchadales, lOI 

Kamchatka, 58 

Kei Islands, 60 

Kelly, Abby, 207, 277 

Kingsley, Mary H., 230-1 

Kirghiz, 288 

Kissing, 10, 43, 115, 182, 189 

Laos, 61 
Lapps, 96 

Latin, 151, 153, 283 
Law, women excluded from 
practising, vi, 134, 285-8, 307 
Longshore, Dr., 134, 291 

Magic, black, 232, 251 ; sympa- 
thetic, 9, 56, 61-2, 76 ff., 86, 
88, 171-4, 206, 222, 232 

Mahd-pagapat?, 245, 249-50, 

Mahomet, 8, 21, 125 
Makololo, 29 
Malacca, 56 

Malagasy, 60, 104, 107, 128, 
132, 260 

Malay Archipelago, 32, 37, 41, 
58, 60, 62, 71, 77-8, 79-80, 
82, 95, 121, 126, 129, 192, 
229, 263, 264, 316 

Malekula, 190 

Mandingoes, 29, 190 

Maoris, 58, 60, 94, 109, 131 

Marquesas Islands, 60, 137 

Marriage, by capture, 5, 6, 37, 
40 n., 42; by purchase, 6, 35, 
36, 42, 192 ff.; certificates, 
75; forced, 122; names 
avoided in, 177-9; proprie- 
tary, 4, 21-2, 36, 51, 74, 
loi, 180,211-12,213,2402., 

Marshall Islands, 60 

Masai, 174, 268 

Maternity insurance, 89 

Medicine, practice of, vi, 46, 
54-5, 60, 64, 131, 146, 149, 
173, 208, 219-20, 258, 282, 
290-2, 301, 302, 307 

Medicine-woman, 239-40, 251- 
6, 288-90 

Melanesia, 14, 31, 33, 77, 102, 
106, 115, 118,122, 135.139- 
40, 150, 179, 195, 227, 230, 
260, 264, 297, 313, 316 

Mexico, 18-19, 22, 60. 88, 170, 
203, 220, 246-7, 252-3, 295 

Micronesia, 158 n. 

Modesty, 148, 157, 183, 184, 
211, 215, 219-20, 267, 270, 
271, 272-3, 286 

More, Hannah, 47, 223, 237 n. 

Moslems, 8, 71, 72; 124, 125, 
161, 178, 179, 201, 206, 208- 
9. 235. 237, 244, 268 

Mourning,6o, 102 fif., 150-1,314 

Naming, 6, 8, 10, 29, 32, 50, 
65, 86, 151, 176 ff., 243 

Nandi, 60 

New Britain, 34, 56, 179, 232, 

New Caledonians, 60, 116-7, 
119. 133 




New Guinea, 22, 32, 38, 54, 56, 
60, 104, 105, 109, 119, 131, 
190, 226, 228, 229-30, 267 
Nias Island, 8, 29, 58 
Nicaraguans, 60, 97, 133, 136 
Nietzsche, 166, 236, 268, 273 
Nubility rites, 13-14, 91 
Nyasaland, 155, 177 

Oflfspring, dedication of, 8, 17, 
18-19, 246-8; desired, 85 ff.; 
education of, 11, 14-15, 17- 
19, 24; first bom, 7, 19, 
264; unrewarding, 6, 89 

Ostyaks, 192, 233 

Parsees, 7, 43, 235, 243 
Patagonians, 28, 135, 192, 214 
Paternity, juridical, 74-5, 85, 87 
Paul, 221, 236, 237, 242, 252, 

255, 263, 265, 270, 275, 289 
Peraks, 178 
Persians, 93, 94, 97, 98 n., 172, 

Peruvians, 25, 44, 45-6, 60, 65, 

72, 10,1;, 243-4, 248, 299 
Philippine Islands, 41, 57, 194 
Pregnancy, 55-7, 67, 70, 76- 

84, 89, 91, 102, 127, 158-9, 

268-9, 201, 287 
Priestess, 63-5, no, 239 flf. 
Property of women, 44, 47, 

137. 194 ff-. 211 
Prostitutes, 47, 48, 64, 118, 
158, 162, 197-8, 199 n., 248- 

9, 287, 291, 298, 308 
Pshaves, 55-6, 82 

Religion, women excluded from, 

10, 20, 96-7, 124-5, 149 ff-. 
226 ff., 243, 257, 274-5 

Ridicule, 48, 133-4, I47~8, 172, 
216, 230 

Romans, 8, 9, 17, 19-20, 39, 
44. 45, 55. 61, 63, 64. 86, 88, 
94-5, 105, 189, 201, 205, 212, 
223, 257, 263, 264, 268, 286 

Rousseau, 188, 190, 217, 223 

Ruskin, 218, 257 

Sacerdotalism, 27-8, 60-1, 62- 
5, 66, 72-3, 86-7, loi, 124- 
5, 141, 146, 149, 157, 161, 
171, 173, 189, 226 ff., 236, 
239 ff., 259 ff., 274-5, 276, 
277, 298-9 

Samoa, 58, 72, 133, 192, 201 

Samoyedes, 192 

Sandwich Islands, 60, 122, 

Sarae, 201 

Sarts, 7 

Schopenhauer, 203, 213, 221 

Scotland, 33 

Secret societies, 29, 71, 118, 
150, 205, 226 ff., 256, 296-8 

Segregation of women, 13, 14, 
34-5, 41, 42, 57, 82-4, 89, 
91 ff., 112, 220-1, 269, 270, 

293. 314 

Sennar, 25 

Serua, 58 

Sex, concern over, 10, 148, 171, 
175; determined, 8-9; prom- 
iscuity, 30, 33, 58; vocabu- 
lary, 156-9 

Sexes, separation of the, 11-12, 
22,32,34, 91 ff., 114 ff., 128, 
130, 131 ff., 139-40, 278, 

Shinto, 246, 247, 254 

Siamese, 39, 100 

Slavery, 143, 198-9, 208, 248, 
249, 252, 277, 310, 316 

Slavs, 3, 7, 9, 36, 41,54, 73, 75, 
77, 82, 86, 194, 204, 205, 222, 
265, 287, 288, 301, 317 

Smoking, 118-9, 127, 186-7 

Solitary women, 13, 23, 57, 82, 
228-9, 237. 294-5 

Somali, 201, 213 

Spaniards, 20, 162-3, 164, 265- 

Speech, 41, 98, 107, 123, 128, 
129,1495., 185,205-6, 209- 
10, 215, 275, 280, 283, 318 

Suffrage, Woman, vi, 47, 66, 
96, 107, 122, 129, 134, 148, 
153-4. 163, 275-6, 284, 307, 



Sumatra, 56, 61, 71, 82, 192 
Sutteeism, 20, 103, 112, 235, 

244, 245, 315 
Swahili, 26, 28, 34, 156 n., 

Swearing, 130, 152-3 
Swedes, 67, 211, 223, 255 
Swiss, 8, 202 
Syrians, 72 

Tartars, 41, 121, 192 
Tchams, 61, 240-1, 242 
Teaching, by women, 202, 

301-2; women excluded from, 

145, 282 
Teresa, Saint, 162-3, 255-6, 

265, 299 
TertuUian, 112, 113, 183, 270 

2., 319 
Thecla, 289 
Theogamy. 15, 17, 19, 45-6, 63, 

65. 71-3. 229, 245, 248, 249, 

Tibet, 86 
Timidity of woman, 2, 10, 207, 

211, 222 5., 228-9, 237 
Tonga, 72, 108 
Torres Straits Islanders, 6, 9, 

14. 57-8, 60, 76, 91, 100, 

102, 106, 109, 124-5, I92i 
229, 264-5, 274, 297, 314, 

Turkey, 21, 22, 23, 72-3, 

United States, 4, 9, 11, 12, 13, 
17, 18, 22-3, 25, 28, 29, 30, 
33. 34. 35. 36, 37. 38 n., 39, 
40, 42, 47 n., 51-4, 59. 65-6, 
67, 74-5. 78-9, 81, 83-4, 87, 

103, 105, 107, 108, III, 112, 
113, 117, 118, 119, 120-1, 
122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 
129, 131, 133, 134, 136, 139, 
141, 143, 145, 149, 154, 155, 
157, 164, 168, 169, 170, 177- 
8, 180, 181, 182, 183-4, 185- 
6, 187-8, 189, 195, 197-8, 
199, 202, 206, 207-8, 209, 

211, 212, 213, 223, 227, 231, 
237, 252, 256, 257, 258-9, 
266, 270, 271-2, 276-7, 278, 
279, 280, 282, 285, 286-7, 
287-8, 290, 291-2, 293, 294, 
295, 296, 297, 298, 300-1, 
302, 303-12, 316-17, 318- 


Unreliability of women, 2, 

99, 204 flf., 212-13 
Unreserve of women, 2, 205-6 
Unyamwezi, 190 

Valuation of women, 1-4, 5-8 

Veddahs, 93 

Veils, 25, 34, 80, 102 n., 105, 

107, 264, 267-8, 271, 315 
Visiting, 11, 32, 38, 120, 144, 

221,224,285,292,300; cards, 

29, 38 n., 42, 107 
Vives, 164, 283 
Voltaire, 206 

Wabemba, 128 

Wagogo, 61, 233 

Wales, Ancient, 192 

Wanderobbo, 82 

Wanika, 201 

Warua, no, 122, 135, 243 

Wataveta, 34, 80, 108, 135, 

Wedding, curse, 7-8; ring, 50, 
103; rites, 8-9, 33, 38-40. 
41 n., 50, 54 72, 174, 263-4, 
265; spirit, 8 

Whistling, 185 

Widows, 20-21, 64, loi fT., 
151, 196, 221, 234, 238, 243- 
6, 249, 275, 284, 314-15 

Wife, education of, 14-17, 218; 
influence of, 55, 59 flf., 91-2, 
269; inheritance by, 39, 112; 
responsibility for, 64, 66-9, 
213; selling, 196, 212, 241; 
subjection of, 10, 15-16, 
51 n., 152, 164, 211, 212, 
22oflf., 232, 234 flf.. 242-3, 
265-6, 304-5 

WoUstonecraft, Mary, 219 




Womanly, woman, The, 4, 
210 ff.; traits, 88, 99, 204 ff., 
321; weakness, 59,172,207-8 

Work of women, 9, 41, 45-6, 
48-9, 93flF., 103,107-8,1332., 
143 fiE., 155, 199-200, 211, 
230, 300-4 

Writing by women, vi, 46, 161- 
2, 165, 284, 285 

Yakuts, 81, 82 
Yao, loi, 103, 181 
Yezedee, 264 

Problems of the Sexes 

Sp Jean Finot 

Author of *' The Science of Happiness," etc. 

Translated under authority of the author 
by Mary J. Saff ord 

8°. $2,00 net. By mail, $2.20 

A masterly presentation of the attitude of 
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of the book is popular and its appeal is not to 
any small section of the reading public but to 
all the classes and degrees of an age that, from 
present indications, will go down in history 
as the Century of Woman. The plea which 
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life of a sex that has too long been regarded 
as predestined to domesticity, is made as much 
in the interest of the race as in that of woman 
herself. The book, unassailably sound in its 
conclusions, merits the closest attention. 

G. P. Putnam's Sons 

New York London 


An Ethnographical and Historical Outline, 

with Descriptive Notes, planned as a 

Text-book for the Use o! College 

Lecturers and Directors o! 

Home=Reading Clubs 

Sj; Elsie Clews Parsons, PI1.D. 

Hartley House Fellow and Lecturer in Sociology, 

Barnard College. 1899-1905 

Author of " The Old-Fashioned Woman," etc. 

8°. $3.00 net. B}) mail $3.25 

A time-saving text-book for lecturers to 
elementary students in sociology. It aims to 
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The Century of the Child 

Cr. 8°. With Frontispiece. Net $1.50. By mail, 

CONTENTS: The Right of the ChUd to Choose His 
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Crimes of Children. This book has gone through more 
than twenty German Editions and has been published in 
several European coimtries. 

"A powerful book." — N. Y. Times. 

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Love and Marriage 

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"One of the profoundest and most important pronouncements of 
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has afifected the compromise, which is always the road to advance- 
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The Woman Movement 

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